The funding plan (saving) for this project began in 2009, providing an affordable path to a new central library, even in these challenging times. The library is an independent taxing authority, as reflected in the Library Levy, separate from the City of Saskatoon municipal property taxes.
Since 2009 there have been scheduled incremental increases to the library levy to save money in a capital reserve for the project. In that time, $35.3 million has been saved for the new central library, accounting for 26.5% of the full project needs. Scheduled increases to the levy are $ 650,000 in the year 2023, $210,000 in 2024 and 2025, and $208,000 in 2026. This schedule fully funds the new central library project, including debt repayment (of the $67.5 million borrowed) and increases to operating costs once the library is open, which means there are no additional increases related to the new central library capital project beyond 2026.
Based on the capital reserve contribution schedule (funded by the library levy), the average homeowner (with an assessed home of $371,000) will see the following increases related to this project:
2023: $5.01 or $0.42/month
2024: $1.55 or $0.13/month
2025: $1.55 or $0.13/month
2026: $1.56 or $0.13/month
The project budget is $134 million. The budget includes all project costs, including land, professional services & consultants, construction & site preparation, furniture & equipment, permits & fees, public art & public engagement, insurance, escalation, tax and contingency.
In the new central library business case, the economic impact assessment estimates the construction of a new central library will contribute approximately $132 million to Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) and create 1,043 full-time equivalent jobs in Canada over three years. Nearly 70% of this economic benefit will occur in Saskatchewan. Once open, the new central library will produce over $15 million annually in GDP.