City renews library lease

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September 1, 2015 8:15 AM

For the next five years, the Lloydminster Public Library will continue to call the Atrium Centre home.

At its Aug. 24 meeting, Lloydminster city council voted to renew the library’s lease with the Servus Credit Union, which owns the Atrium Centre. The lease will last from Sept. 1, 2015 until Aug. 31, 2020 at a cost of $58,187.28 each year.

The previous lease lasted three years at a rate of $4 per square foot. The new deal costs $4.50 per square foot and includes an additional 921 square feet which used to house the Lloydminster Regional Archives. The city is also renting a 120-square-foot storage area at $480 annually.

During the meeting, Coun. Linnea Goodhand noted that there was no early termination provision in the contract, meaning the city would be unable to relocate the library if a more favourable location became available or if it was recommended that the library be moved as part of the ongoing Facilities Master Plan.

“A five-year lease without an exit strategy means that the library will occupy those premises in the Atrium for the full life of the lease,” Goodhand said.

“We’re undergoing a review process right now to see what the new library could look like, where it would be, how big it would be and my concern was, was there any sense of optimism that we could have a new library underway before the five years are up?”

She said the city would only be in a position to relocate the library “if money fell out of the sky,” and that presently remaining in the Atrium Centre is economically practical and realistic.

Coun. Larry Sauer said moving from a three-year lease to a five-year lease made sense as there would be no incremental increase in cost over that time period. He says even if it was recommended that the library be relocated, that process would likely take about five years.

“There is a Facilities Master Plan going, of which the library will be one of the facilities that we’re talking about,” Sauer said.

“If there are recommendations that we look at some other facility, that’s going to take time and this’ll be in the interim. We feel it’s a fair agreement, certainly.”

As with the previous agreement, the tenant is responsible for a 13.72 per cent share of the common area operating costs.

The City of Lloydminster funds about 66 per cent of the library’s operating costs. This year that fee amounts to $858,172.

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