The Armidale War Memorial Library is one step away from relocating to 1/182 Rusden Street.
Armidale Regional Council interim general manager Greg Meyers has officially recommended Council buy the building for $2.4 million.
And that he and Council administrator Ian Tiley be authorised to make the purchase.
The matter will come before Council on October 26 and if Dr Tiley adopts the recommendation, it will be the most decisive move on the project since it was introduced to the council agenda in September 2001.
Should it progress, the contract of sale will also give Council first option to buy the adjacent unit 2/182 Rusden Street if it becomes available.
Council estimates the refurbishment, fitout and relocation costs to be between $850,000 and $1.1 million.
The Rusden Street building was one of 13 options the former Armidale Dumaresq Council and Library Committee considered on October 19 last year.
It is located opposite the TAFE New England campus and backs onto council-owned land on Rusden Street and Allingham Street.
“The one advantage that 1/182 Rusden Street has over all other proposals is the vacant adjoining council-owned land which provides considerable opportunity and scope for future needs,” the report said.
The library was identified as a top priority in the past two Community Strategic Plans.
But the cost of a proposed new building in Cinders Lane and the community opposition to a Special Rate Variation to fund it, stalled the project.
The report considers leasing the old Civic Video building at 119 Rusden Street.
It also considers leasing 1/182 Rusden Street.
But concludes that buying 1/182 is the best option for Council and the community.
“Whilst the leasing and refurbishing proposals are good options, the figures clearly demonstrate that the best and most affordable option for Council and the community is to purchase and purposely refurbish the property at 1/182 Rusden Street,” the report said.
Dr Tiley will make a decision on the recommendation at the Armidale council meeting on October 26.
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