Annapolis County to protest library relocation

‘Absolutely wrong move,’ says Warden Ritchie

Published on April 21, 2015
Reg Ritchie
Lawrence Powell / TC-Media

BRIDGETOWN - “Just a wrong move at the wrong time,” was the reaction last week of Annapolis County Warden Reg Ritchie to news that the headquarters for the Annapolis Valley Regional Library was relocating from Bridgetown to Berwick.

The council unanimously passed a motion to write a letter to the province, “including Premier Stephen McNeil.”

Ritchie told the April session of the Annapolis County committee of the whole council that this was, “absolutely the wrong move.” He said the move will mean a loss of 22 jobs in Bridgetown, a community already struggling. County chief administrative officer John Ferguson said to lose these 22 positions, “will hurt the community.” He wondered if this had been considered.

Councillor Horace Hurlburt, representing the Bridgetown area, questioned how the library was going to finance the move. He wondered if services would need to be curtailed. The council was told the $200,000 to $300,000 required for the relocation was coming from the library’s operating reserves.

Deputy Warden Timothy Habinski described it as, “a regrettable decision.”  Habinski, along with Coun. Gregory Heming, represent the municipality on the board of directors for the regional library.  According to Habinski, the Annapolis Valley Regional Library is an independent body and is “not answerable” to the province.

The Annapolis Valley Regional Library, which provides library services to the residents of Annapolis, Kings, and Hants West, is currently headquartered in the former Bridgetown development centre. The council was told several months ago that administrators were searching for a more central location.