Champlain Township has issued a brief press release with some information about the Champlain Library.

“In 1984, the Township took ownership of the building at 94 Main Street East, now known as the Champlain Public Library, originally built in 1856. Restoration work has been done over the years and masonry work was completed to the east side of the building’s exterior wall in 2019. The township’s asset management plan requires an assessment of all its buildings by July 2023. Consequently, the township mandated an engineering firm to assess the condition of the building.

A building condition assessment study, submitted to the municipal council in fall 2019, concluded that the overall condition of the library building was fair, although it identified variable conditions between the building elements, with several areas identified as requiring repairs and provided a comprehensive one to five-year budget plan to safely address deficiencies in the report. The report and proposed budget plan are comprehensive and concise with regards to the overall condition of the structure.

Township staff members are working closely with the engineering firm to prepare a detailed work plan to address the priority deficiencies and to establish a 1–5-year budget based on the work identified in the report. The township’s 2021 budget includes $150,000 for repairs to the building. Some of these repairs such as electrical and structural work, as well as the installation of a new fire alarm system are already underway. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic a lot of the work has been delayed.

The library board supports the township’s 2021 investment in the building. We understand how important the library is to our citizens and we will reopen the library as soon as feasible.”

The 2019 report on Champlain Library from the engineering firm is not yet public. In response to a recent Freedom of Information request made to Champlain Township by The Review, the request was rejected and the reason cited was in keeping with the “Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act” which permits denial of access when “information is soon to be published.” The response letter from Champlain Township indicates that the “one or more reports and/or related engineer reports or expert assessments” requested by The Review would be “published” by the township at the next regular council meeting, which takes place virtually on March 11 at 7 p.m.