New Chemainus library will be built at old firehall site

North Cowichan council has reversed its decision and is supporting the old firehall as the site for a new library.

North Cowichan council has reversed its decision about where a new library should be built in Chemainus.

North Cowichan council made a definitive decision to build the new Chemainus library on the old firehall site at 9796 Willow St. during its Sept. 19 meeting.

“This council and the previous council had determined, after a comprehensive and consultative planning process, that the new Chemainus library would be built adjacent to the Coastal Community Credit Union on municipally-owned property in the Waterwheel Park parking lot,” Mayor Jon Lefebure said in a press release. “Over the past nine months, however, a groundswell of public opinion opposed to that site had developed in Chemainus. The results of three independent petitions and surveys with over 800 signatures showed a clear preference for the old firehall site.”

The Chemainus Advisory Committee acknowledged the input from the public and recommended that council change its decision. Council responded to the committee’s recommendation and the evidence of public preference and will propose the old firehall site as the preferred new library site to the Vancouver Island Regional Library board for its consideration.

With this issue resolved, VIRL can now proceed with its process and will hold a public meeting to determine what the community would like to see within the library, according to the release.

North Cowichan will work with VIRL on a suitable plan for the firehall site.

North Cowichan council then passed a motion to support the relocation of the Cowichan Neighbourhood House Association and Visitor Information Centre from the old firehall to avoid disruption of these community services.