More provincial money earmarked for library

Duane Hicks

After seeing support from the Ministry of Culture, as well as numerous individual, group, and corporate donors to its “Building for the Future” fundraising campaign, the new Fort Frances Public Library and Technology Centre is expected to get a boost from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp. tomorrow.
Northern Development and Mines minister Michael Gravelle, who also chairs the NOHFC, will be at the Fort Frances Public Library at 2:30 p.m. to announce provincial funding for the technology centre portion of the new facility.
The town and library board previously had applied to the NOHFC for funding, but was turned down. An appeal also was rejected.
But then mayor and council met with Gravelle last spring and learned that while the NOHFC does not fund libraries per se, the town could re-apply for funding specifically for a new technology centre.
In August, the town submitted a funding application to the NOHFC for $480,000.
The need for a new library here was publicly identified back in 2003, but the drive to build it got kick-started in February, 2007 when the Ontario Ministry of Culture pledged $1.6 million to the project.
Since then, the “Building for the Future” campaign has raised more than $833,000 in pledges.
The library building committee intends to put out a request for proposal (RFP) this month to construct the new library and technology centre.
The most up-to-date budget for the project showed a building cost of $3,941,871, with an extra $383,371 included both to cover an estimated 12 percent inflation in building and material costs due to delays, as well as re-design fees in the amount of $25,000.
This makes for a total budget of $4,325,242.
Presentations commemorating the 20th anniversary of the NOHFC also will be made here tomorrow.