Downtown Windsor Library Staying Put Until February Mission Confirms

The Windsor Public Library branch downtown is staying put...for now.

Speaking on AM800's the Morning Drive on Tuesday, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens announced that a deal had been reached between the city and Downtown Mission to allow the library to remain at 850 Ouellette Ave.

The Downtown Mission purchased the Central branch from the city last March for $3.6 million.

It is now expected the library will stay at the current location until February 2020, while work is being done on the Paul Martin building at 185 Ouellette Ave. to move library services there.

"The City of Windsor, the Library and the Downtown Mission have reached an agreement, we will stay at 850 Ouellette until the work is done at the Paul Martin building," said Dilkens.

Downtown Mission Executive Director Ron Dunn confirms there is an agreement in principle with the city.

Dunn tells AM800 News the final details of the delay still need to be negotiated.

"We've incurred costs and so we're going to look to the city to try and cover some of those costs, but that has yet to be official or determined," says Dunn. "And we still have on the back end, remember we've sold Victoria so we still have to hear back from the buyer."

Dilkens said it will take several months to transform part of the Paul Martin building into a library.

"We anticipate it could take up to eight months, but we have a deal with the mission to stay there until February 2020, so there will be no gap in service," added Dilkens.

The current location of the Central Library branch was originally set to close to the public May 18th.

The keys at 850 Ouellette were suppose to be handed over to the Downtown Mission on June 28th so that it could convert the space for its administration, food services, shelter and 30 transitional apartments.

Dunn says this delay does not change the plans of the Mission to buy the library building.

"We've entered into an agreement that just really leave everything the same with the exception of the closing date," says Dunn. "So the sale will go through, I think that's an important message to get out there.  We've just switched it from June 28 to February 28."

As a result of the agreement, Dilkens confirmed there will be no gap for library users.

"People won't have to figure out where to go to get main library to downtown library services and we certainly appreciate the mission working with us to  make that a possibility."

Dunn tells AM800 News they have also finalized the sale of the Victoria Avenue property -- and he notes the city, mission and purchaser are all included in this agreement in principle.

"When you have all willing parties sitting at the table as partners looking for a mutually beneficial kind of arrangement," says Dunn. "I think we can solve everything political will and some finances."

In the future, the library will occupy two floors of the Paul Martin Building.