City chooses land for library/museum; residents to vote on loan

By Contributor
May 6th, 2013

Trail City Council has decided to dedicate the land previously occupied by the Eagles Building for the construction of a new Trail Public Library and Historical Museum; this decision was made during Council’s 2014 Strategic Planning Session on May 2. Although this city-owned land has been officially allocated for the new facility, the final decision on whether or not the building will be constructed will be made by Trail’s citizens. The public will have the opportunity to vote for a Loan Authorization Bylaw at the next Municipal Election in November 2014. A majority vote would provide the authority required for council to borrow the money needed to proceed with the detailed design and construction of the building.

Council agreed that it is in the city’s best interest to pursue the construction of a new building on the Eagles site. The proposal from the Trail Library Board to move the library into the old Fields Building was recently declined by city council as a thorough engineering study, recently completed, revealed that investing into the older building would require upgrades that could cost up to several million dollars. Council members felt that renovations of this magnitude, after considering the purchase price of the building, was not a long-term cost effective and viable solution.

“Constructing a new building on city-owned land will end up costing the City and tax payers less in the long run,’ said mayor Dieter Bogs. “A new building will offer the public a new and modern facility in a great location. It’s right along the Esplanade and close to other downtown amenities.”

The location on the Esplanade also aligns with the city’s overall Downtown Revitalization Plan. Building a stronger relationship with the Columbia River and Trail’s downtown is an important factor to help encourage further development in the area. With enhancements along the riverwall and other enhancement projects in the near future, the selected site would be ideal for Trail’s Public Library and Historical Museum.

“It’s an excellent gathering place and it would help draw more people into the downtown core,” Bogs said. “Once planning and construction costs are developed, and property tax impacts are determined, it will be up to the public to decide. November 2014 will determine all of this and potentially set the groundwork for the future. Council is very excited about the opportunity and looks forward to working with the library board and historical society.”

The city will now move as quickly as possible to hire an architectural firm to develop the necessary conceptual plan for presentation to the public as well as to solicit feedback and to put the necessary cost estimates together so that property tax impacts can also be calculated and presented.

The subject of creating new library space for the community is not a new one and has been a topic of discussion for more than a decade. In 2002, the library was part of a similar referendum that involved the development of a civic/cultural complex on the Esplanade that also included the museum as well as city hall.


Categories: GeneralPolitics