LIP plan for library termed 'railroading'
The federal government's Local Initiatives Program "railroads" municipalities into undertaking certain projects at the expense of other projects just as important to the community, charged Ald. Wilbert Dick at a council committee meeting Monday.
Ald. Dick made the comment after the library board chairman, Ben Bramble, asked the council for $21,000 tax money toward expansion of the main branch in the old town hall on Queen St.
Mr. Bramble said "verbal approval" has been received from LIP administrators for $30,500, if the town can come up with the rest of the estimated $58,000 project.
Mr. Dick said there are other important projects, such as senior citizen housing, which require municipal financing. He said he objected to having LIP projects "sprung" on municipalities, with application deadlines, and little time for councillors to consider the project. "That's what is wrong with the LIP program, it railroads municipalities into things."
Ald. Dick said he approved of the project, but added, "this is quite a request for this year. This request alone would amount to a couple of mills."
Council decided to ask a general contractor to estimate more accurately the cost of the project. It approved the work in principle.
Mr. Bramble said estimates were done by him, and are "not conservative". Some aldermen expressed concern that the cost of expansion and renovation may escalate and result in the town paying more than the requested $21,000.
Mr. Bramble said the town's library "has built up a tremendous head of steam in both membership and circulation. It is most imperative that we get more room."
[Written by Mike Tenszen, published by Niagara Falls Review on Jan 16, 1973]
Ladies committee in search of premises for Virgil library
The Niagara on the Lake Library Board, at their last meeting decided to continue efforts to obtain suitable premises for a Virgil library.
A committee of ladies is enthusiastically engaged in discussions with Virgil businessmen to this end. Top priority was given to this discussion at the Library Board's meeting on Jan. 10, when Mrs. John Kormos of Queenston took her seat for the first time as a Board member, replacing Fred Chesham whose term expired last month.
Board members spent some time discussing expansion of the existing facilities which are stretched beyond limit.
Mrs. C. Toye and Mrs. William Allen have been appointed to present a slate of committee members for the 1973 term.
Increased hours will soon be introduced at the Library enabling readers to use the facilities over longer periods.
Last year 40,000 volumes were borrowed, a number in excess of 6,000 more than the previous year.
[published by Niagara Advance on Jan 18, 1973]
Library funds halved by Niagara council
Although it didn't get the $21,000 it asked tor, the town's library board Monday managed to persuade council to hand over $10,000 toward expansion of the main branch on Queen St.
A committee meeting last Monday board chairman Ben Bramble told council that if it contributed $21,000, the board was eligible for a federal government local initiatives program grant of $30,500.
Council asked the board to begin a public subscription to raise funds for the work, which includes expanding the library into other sections of the old town hall basement where it is located.
Mr. Bramble said he does not know until he contacts LIP administrators today how much the board is eligible for.
Council voted down a motion to contribute $21,000 over a two-year period.
[published by Niagara Falls Review]
Council grudgingly grant $10,000 to Library Board
An application by the Niagara on the Lake Library Hoard for a grant of $21,000 to be used along with an expected $30,500 grant from the Local Incentive Program for badly needed expansion of the facilities was rejected by Town Council last Monday. Council later granted the sum of $10,000 following representation by Library Board Chairman Ben Bramble who was at great pains to point out the urgency of Council's approval if advantage was to be taken of the LIP grant.
Principal opponent to the $21,000 application was Ald. Nellie Keeler who expressed great 'surprise" that the item found itself on that nights agenda. She urged hat consideration should be given raising some of the money by public subscription. Ald. Wilbert Dick supported the opposition wondering "where was the money to come from". He suggested a two phase project and later moved the $10,000 grant to the Library. Ald. Harold Clement and Ald. George Howse both supported the Library's program. The former pointed out the library is one of the most important agencies in the town catering to more people perhaps than any other. Mr. Howse said the expansion has been needed for sometime now and he urged Council to 'press on" with it fully. Mr. Bramble reminded Council the LIP administration would not accept terms such as suggested by Ald. Keeler or a subscription campaign. He called attention to the fact the LIP announcement came very late in the year, hence the urgency of his application.
Ald. Dick conceded he was not questioning the usefulness of the Library nor the need for expansion. He complimented the Board on the job they are doing but he argued the work may be spread out over a period of two years.
Ald. William Griffiths agreed the project was a worthy one and he too wondered where they are going to obtain the money from "But" he said, "if you are going to cut down on the library, he hoped other projects will receive the same treatment".
[published by Niagara Advance]
Library Expansion Work Described As 'Necessity'
Work on revamping the main branch of the town library on Queen St. is scheduled to begin Feb. 5, and board chairman Ben Bramble wants the entire project completed this year.
The $58,000 expansion of facilities was described as an "absolute necessity' by the chairman earlier this year when he asked town council for $21,000 towards the costs.
Part of the expenditures will be covered through a $31,000 federal government grant provided under the Local Initiatives Program.
Council turned down the board's original proposal but passed a motion to appropriate $10,000 for the library's 1973 budget.
Mr. Bramble said the board has calculated $6,000 in the 1973 budget which awaits board approval and has approval from a bank to borrow another $10,000 which would cover the remainder of the costs of the project.
Acceptance of the LIP grant requires the board to meet a government deadline of May 31 for completion of work on the library.
"It's unrealistic to expect all the work to .be finished by that date, but the deadline will definitely be extended by LIP officials if the project is well under may by this time," Mr. Bramble told The Standard.
He said the board is now in the process of interviewing people for the job of project manager. "Once we hire someone for that job we can get the project moving."
The chairman pointed out the board is confident all the money) needed will be available for the expansion.
"Right now the board is mapping out plans for handling public subscription for funds, and we hope to get this started March 1."
The work will involve going through two walls for access to the basement of the old town hall and renovating a garage that is now used by the town as temporary facilities for the waterworks department.
"By going through the walls we'll make use of two extra rooms in the underpart of the main hall through the centre of the building," Mr. Bramble explained.
Part of the new area of the library will be designed for children's programs, a lounge area, plus an all-purpose craft room.
There will also be washroom facilities installed, something the old library has never had.
The library is now in the same facilities the town built in H912, and the chairman pointed out no expansion has ever taken place.
"Circulation and memberships have increased tremendously in the past few years and this put a tremendous strain on our present resources. We have 1,200 members and the largest inter-library borrowing program in the region."
The library is now open only Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, plus a Sunday service.
[published by St. Catharines Standard]
Bank loan permits Library expansion
With the aid of a bank loan of $10,000 expansion work at the Niagara on the Lake Library will be started on Feb. 5.
The Library Board will receive a grant of $10,000 from the Niagara on the Lake Town Council and an
LIP grant of $30,500 for a $50,000 expansion job at the library, back of the old Court House.
Final approval of the LIP grant came on Jan. 25.
The week before members of the Town Council debated at great length whether to grant the Library Board $21,000 to complete necessary expansion of their premises on Market St.
One of the principal results of the expansion program will be added facilities for children, including more book space, play area and comfortable story telling space. Washroom facilities which do not now exist will be provided and the existing crowded adult facilities will be somewhat relieved.
Entrance to the library will then be gained through what is now the truck entrance to the Town Hall basement.
[published by Niagara Advance on Feb 1, 1973]