The Yorkton Public Library is staying put downtown, after the building’s buyer backed out.
City council initially approved the sale of the library on June 5, 2023. Councillors learned that the sale fell through in a private meeting on Monday, according to a city news release.
That happened after an environmental study was done near the library as part of the teardown of an adjacent building. The study revealed there were “environmental issues” in the northern parking lot of the library from an old SaskPower diesel plant.
SaskPower is now in the process of cleaning up the affected area and is covering that cost, the city said. It added that the structural integrity of the library building is not affected by the impacted soil, which makes the building “suitable for continued public use.”
When the city first approved the sale, Mayor Mitch Hippsley said they wanted to relocate the building because of people using drugs at the central location.
The decision drew ire from library staff, who argued that violence and drug use in libraries is prevalent nationwide — and moving locations won’t solve those issues.
The city had been considering relocating the library to the Gallagher Centre, which is located on the city’s outskirts. Now, the city is calling off the search.
“Council has opted to maintain the current location of the library. In our capacity as a local governing body, we recognize the inherent dynamism of circumstances and the potential emergence of challenges,” the city said in the release.
“As a municipality, we remain steadfast in our commitment to continual enhancement and operational efficacy, all while upholding the provision and preservation of essential services to our residents and the neighbouring communities.”