In battle over library, Ormstown councillor says mayor threatened to call police on him
MONTREAL -- No one’s denying that the Ormstown library has seen better days: the roof leaks, and the building is tiny.
However, a new plan to move the library into a rented space in a commercial building, right next to a couple of highways, isn’t sitting well with many locals -- and even led to a threat to involve the police, according to one town councillor.
Rent for the space, in a building shared with a medical centre, will be almost $6,000 a month. Critics say that at that rate, they could plan a brand-new building.
A five-year lease adds up to $350,000, points out Cheryl Johnstone, who lives in Ormstown.
For that money, "we could build a new library on this beautiful field right beside us that we, the people, own—and that we paid for with our donations as well as taxes,” she said.
Others said the decision wasn’t transparent.
"The decision was made in the dark, it's very expensive, and it's a terrible location just above one highway on a very busy other highway,” said Don Rosenbaum.
An online petition has collected about 200 signatures. CTV’s mayor didn’t respond to a request for comment, but one councillor says a public vote isn’t a bad idea.
“Where I'd really like to see this project go is to a referendum to the citizens of Ormstown. Let them decide whether they want to move into the medical centre,” said councillor Stephen Ovans.
He and other councillors also say they’ve been shut out of the process. Ovans even said that after a few emails and calls, “I actually got an email back from the mayor stating that if I didn't lay off, he was going to call the police on me.”
Watch the video above for the full report.