YORKTON - There is a possibility the City of Yorkton will be selling the building which has been the long-time home of the Yorkton Public Library.
“We’ve had an offer,” confirmed Mayor Mitch Hippsley.
It is a private company interested in purchasing the existing building, which eliminates future maintenance and capital improvement costs to the City, noted Hippsley.
The private company would pay taxes in the neighbourhood of $60,000 per year.
A Public Notice in Yorkton This Week detailed Yorkton Council is considering an Option to Purchase the property for $1,500,000. The advertisement calls for submissions from the public regarding the potential sale.
Hippsley said selling the building was not exactly on Council’s radar as a priority, but when the offer was made it was deemed something worth delving into further, adding he feels the sale is likely to go ahead.
“It looks very good, but it’s not positive,” he said.
If the sale moves forward it will necessitate finding a new home for the library. Hippsley said space upstairs at the Gallagher Centre currently vacant after housing physiotherapy offices, has been discussed by Council in-camera – taken in-camera as a property matter.
The question for the city is whether the Gallagher Centre is large enough to accommodate a library.
The provincial recommendation – not regulation – for a library serving a community the size of Yorkton is 10,000 square feet, said Hippsley.
The existing library is 16,000 square feet.
The space at the Gallagher Centre is 6,000 square feet, said Hippsley. He added while the space is only about one-third the existing facility, the plan, if the sale goes forward, would be to spend some of the sale dollars to renovate the prospective space to make it as efficient as possible.
“We don’t want to lose any services,” said Hippsley.
The Gallagher Centre location would offer the City operational savings. The cost to operate the existing building -- utilities, snow removal etc -- is in excess of $185,000 per year.
The space in the Gallagher Centre is vacant and thus there is no extra cost to operations, noted material supplied to Yorkton This Week by Hippsley.
Hippsley did add the City expects to make a profit on the sale, even after renovating a new library space.
A public hearing on the matter will be part of the regular meeting of Yorkton Council Monday, May 15, at 5 p.m. “Council will hear all persons who are present and wish to speak to the proposed sale,” details the Public Notice advertisement.
A person may provide a submission in writing regarding the matter and all written submissions will be read verbatim aloud unless the submitter is in attendance to speak on the submission.