The Stoke Library could need major repairs. Photo: Kate Russell.

Stoke Library question proves tricky

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Stoke Library continues to give Nelson City Council a headache as councillors ponder how to maintain the much-needed service to the community ahead of the up-and-coming closure of the main library.

The community services committee received a report on Monday with a range of options of what could be done to provide a temporary space for library users in Stoke when the main library is closed later this month for a water-tightness assessment and repairs.

Options presented included creating a ‘pop-up’ library in the ex-Video Ezy or Benge and Co stores, the Greenmeadows Centre, or the recommended option – the former Stoke Seniors hall, at an unbudgeted cost of $40,000.

But until the wall linings are removed, council officers say it’s not possible to ascertain the extent of the damage and therefore the duration of closure.

Andrew Petherem, council property, parks and facilities asset manager, told councillors that until they open up the building, they can’t say for sure long it would need to shut.

“We would open it up and know within a week the extent of the damage.”

Committee chair Gaile Noonan said they will call another meeting, if needed.

“At the moment, we don’t know what we’re dealing with. I just don’t want to be spending $40,000 [on a pop-up library] if we don’t need to.”

Mayor Rachel Reece said if a pop-up library is needed, her preference is for the space to be in Greenmeadows, instead of the recommended Stoke Seniors hall.

“If we can give [Stoke] an opportunity to have a library in that beautiful warm space, we should.”

But resource consent conditions could make this tricky.

The Stoke Library attracts around 400 people day and around 10,000 across a month, and provides other council services such as paying rates and bus tickets

“It is a very well used facility,” said Gaile.