Despite the economic uncertainty stemming from COVID-19, on August 25th, 2020 Aurora Council, with a split vote of 4-3, awarded a construction tender for the $52M plus Library Square project. The tender was awarded to Chandos Construction Ltd. in the amount of $41,009,865 pushing the total project budget to $51,939,500. That amount does not include the recent purchase of adjacent property at $7,500,000 nor future redevelopment costs of the same property which will be part of Library Square.
That evening before the beginning of the Special Meeting of Council, concerned community members gathered in protest to voice their concerns regarding the record spending by Aurora Council on the redevelopment of Library Square during the pandemic. They encouraged Aurora Council to pause and re-think the project.
Before I dive into analysis of the Council meeting, I thought I would share a few photos of the concerned community members who gathered in front of Aurora Town Hall on August 25th, 2020. Apparently over a hundred emails were also sent to the Mayor and Council prior the meeting as a means of community feedback.
In the News:
YorkRegion.com: Aurora council approves Library Square project in downtown core – ‘Iconic beacon’ or project being ‘rammed through’? Feelings strong on both sides.
The Auroran: Library Square redevelopment clears final Council hurdle on “historic” 4–3 vote – “These concerns were echoed inside Council Chambers by Councillors Wendy Gaertner, John Gallo and Rachel Gilliland, each of whom encouraged Council to press “pause” and wait until the fall for a pending budget update.“
The Auroran: Province says “no” to $31.6 million grant for Library Square – “Potential grant money of more than $30 million was a cornerstone of the Town’s financial plan for the $50+ million redevelopment of Library Square, but that money won’t be forthcoming, according to a word from the Province last week.“
Never heard of it, here is more information: Town of Aurora
Anna Lozyk Romeo