Possibility of a County Library Service Gets Cold Shoulder From Town

Grey County might be moving ahead with researching the feasibility of a county-wide library service, but it’s pretty clear The Blue Mountains two representatives don’t want much to do with it.

Both Mayor John McKean and Deputy-mayor Gail Ardiel voted against a motion authorizing the county to proceed with preparing a report on a county library system Jan. 26.

McKean told his fellow county councillors he was apprehensive about the concept unless it contained a clearly-worded opt-out clause for the town.

In particular, McKean noted the preliminary cost estimate to The Blue Mountains was $1.1 million, a $300,000 increase over current costs to operate the L.E. Shore Memorial Library and the location at the Craigleith Heritage Depot.

He told the county that would be hard to explain to his constituents, who enjoy a thriving library system.

McKean pointed to a reciprocal agreement with neighbouring Meaford as an example of a cooperative library partnership. He mentioned there’s another such agreement on the way between the town and Collingwood as well.

“I don’t where this new initiative from the county is going to go,” he said following the meeting. “I’m pretty opposed to it. It’s a slippery slope, and there’s pros and cons to it.

Grey County is pretty spread out, and I know Owen Sound and Meaford have had their issues. I think they are attempting to drive a pin with a sledge hammer. I don’t the issues are as big as they think.”

County chief administrative officer Kim Wingrove is to provide a report to council sometime in the new few months with further information.

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