By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Advance
A delegation from the Castor Municipal Library presented to County of Paintearth council during their Sept. 13 meeting.
The delegation consisted of Library Manager Tess Griebel, Library Board Chair Lynn Sabo, and Paintearth Adult Learning Program Manager Cindy Heidecker, who came in support of the library.
“We have tremendous feedback from the community,” said Griebel.
“We want to offer workshops and programs (in the community). Our concern is everyone being able to visit the library.”
The Castor library shares space with the Castor Paintearth Adult Learning office, including a shared washroom.
As the main washroom in the library is very small and cramped, unsuitable for those with mobility issues, the library and adult learning are looking for council support in doing the necessary renovations.
“We do appreciate (the funding) you give us already, but this is above and beyond,” said Sabo
A very preliminary estimate on the cost of the needed renovations in the Town of Castor-owned building is somewhere between $40,000 to $80,000, though some grants for the work are potentially available.
“I agree with you, that washroom is horrible,” said Coun. George Glazier.
The delegation was not asking for immediate access to funds for the work, but instead wanted to let council know what the potential plans were for the space so that when budget deliberations for 2022 began the project could be budgeted for.
“The Library board and Tess have been working very hard on making the library more accessible for the public,” said Coun. Doreen Blumhagen.
“Tess has worked very hard on making the library a bigger part of the community. We should keep this in mind going forward for the budget.”
Reeve Stan Schulmeister thanked the delegation for the presentation, as well as for giving them time to discuss the matter in budget deliberations, instead of expecting an immediate response.
The next step for the Castor Library will be getting more detailed estimates of the work needed and working with both the Town and the County to secure funding, be it through the municipalities, grants, or fundraising.
The delegation preceded the County presentation with a presentation to the Town of Castor on Sept. 12, where the reaction was much the same.
“There are residents who are in wheelchairs that can’t go in there,” said Coun. Trudy Kilner.
“There has to be funding for that.”
During the Town council meeting, council directed Castor Chief Administrative Officer Christopher Robblee to work with both the library and Paintearth Adult Learning to get firm quotes on the proposed upgrades, as well as looking for grant funding.