To The Editor,
Your story in last week’s Review about the closing of the Champlain Library raises several disturbing questions that scream for some answers.
Mayor Riopel is quoted as saying the building is shut for ‘safety reasons’ and that the engineer’s report is ‘confidential’. How can a safety concern be ‘confidential’? If the building is unsafe, shouldn’t everyone know about it? Again, if it is a ‘safety issue’, how come it is okay for staff to go into the building and work, but not the public? Is staff members’ safety less important than the public’s?
It is reported that the township paid $60,000 of taxpayer money to re-brick the east side of the building – badly I might add, since there was no attempt to make the brick match the original brick. The report says that it was ‘about that time’ that an engineering report was commissioned on the ‘overall condition of the building’. Was it commissioned before or after the brick was put on? Did the township spend $60,000 of our money on an unsafe building or not?
Why is the report not being made public? Even the library board is being kept in the dark as to what the issue is? And what would it cost to fix the ‘issue’? We need to know.
The Champlain Library is one of the most important resources in this community. And you Mr. Riopel and your council were elected to serve this community, not to dodge issues by labeling them ‘confidential’.
We need answers, and transparency NOW!
Bonnie Laing, Vankleek Hill