Bracebridge may be moving its library to Salmon Avenue in the next few years.
During general committee on Tuesday morning, councillors voted 3-2 to support the proposal to attach the library to the new arena complex. Mayor Graydon Smith says it wasn’t an easy decision, but it’s the one that makes most financial sense.

The library relocation discussion was pushed ahead from a meeting in August. At that time, some councillors felt a citizen proposal advocating to keep the library on Manitoba Street hadn’t been properly reviewed in a consultant report weighing all the options.

Town officials say even with that proposal taken into consideration, it would cost millions of dollars more to renovate and expand the current building versus attaching the facility to the arena. Limited parking is a concern for the town as there are only 60 available spots behind the library. Officials say construction on the building on Manitoba Street could also have a negative effect on downtown businesses.

Smith says he hears the worry from residents about an empty library building becoming a scar on the downtown. He says town would actively be looking to repurpose the old building.

Smith says once the final nod is given to town staff to relocate the library, they’ll be looking to put together an architect design for the arena complex.

The library relocation proposal will be reviewed one last time by council next week before it gets the final approval. That meeting will run at 7:00pm on Wednesday in council chambers.

Previous stories:

Bracebridge library report is raising questions from local residents

Recent study suggests Bracebridge should add public library to proposed arena complex

Bracebridge council to review concept for possible arena and library complex

Government funding must be considered to help pay for new arena in Bracebridge says Mayor