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Library project moves forward; hospital funding confirmed

Two projects near and dear to County residents’ hearts received official confirmation the municipality will be helping them move forward.

Municipal funding of $4.5 million toward the build of the County’s new hospital is official with approval of a bylaw Tuesday night. The municipality is required to pass this bylaw under the Municipal Act.

Council also approved the official request from the Prince Edward County Public Library to modify the Picton branch, and accept the tender for renovation – as the branch is owned by the municipality.

For the hospital, council approved staff recommendations for a financing plan in June 2018 which outlined that the grant would given, and funds would be raised partly on the tax levy, with the balance being debt services (approximately $2.3 million). Without debt servicing, it would require a direct increase to the tax level, or an overall increase of 5.3 per cent for 2021. The debt commitment disburses payments over 25 years.

For the 112-year-old library, there was no additional request for funding beyond the $320,000 the municipality has already approved. To date $2,050,000 of the $2,800,000 fundraising goal has been raised, mostly by community members and groups supporting the expansion.

The County’s six library branches were closed during the first months of the pandemic, but found creative ways to serve the community with online programming and access to a broad range of materials and technical support, delivery services which included mail, and curbside pick up.

Sandy Murray, chair of the library finance committee, in his report to council, noted a Canadian Urban Institute report in October titled “In It Together: Bringing Back Canadian Main Streets”.

“It assesses how small businesses have been affected by COVID-19 and offers suggestions as to how to sustain and bolster Main Streets through the pandemic and in the future. It notes libraries are a main street ‘anchor’, a community hub, free, open to all, a safe place, important to the life and health of the communities they serve.”

A ‘Give Your Heart to the Library’ campaign is now under way where every dollar donated will be doubled, up to 100K, thanks to support from an anonymous donor. Click here to support the campaign. 

The Back the Build Campaign for the hospital, which earlier this month received a $1.5 million boost from Bay of Quinte Mutual Insurance, also continues. Click here to support the campaign.

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