Council for the Rural Municipality of Hanover has made its decision regarding a request to help turn the Jake Epp Library in Steinbach into a regional library. 

Back in November, a delegation from the library pitched the idea to Hanover Council. Board Chair Jacqui Broesky presented three different scenarios to council. Based on the three scenarios, the minimum that Hanover would be expected to contribute would be $172,000 annually. By comparison, the city of Steinbach contributes $395,000 annually. Broesky says for $172,000 annually, Hanover residents would then no longer be required to pay $95 for their library card, similar to the offer that exists today for Steinbach residents.

Following the meeting in November, Hanover Reeve Jim Funk noted that $172,000 is substantially more than what Hanover contributes today. He notes their annual grant is about $2,000 to the library. In addition to that, Hanover pays $30 for every membership taken out by its residents. Funk said that works out to approximately $17,000 annually. 

At Wednesday's Hanover Council meeting, a decision was formally made regarding this request.

"The timing is not good," says Funk. "We certainly want to work together with the city, and we will work together with the city. But at this time, working together with them with the library is just not feasible for us."

He notes it is already looking like Hanover will need to find other sources of funding to pay for some infrastructure improvements this year, and so the idea of putting $172,000 towards the library in Steinbach is just not plausible.

Having said that, Funk notes the municipality will continue with its annual contribution of $30 per household membership for Hanover residents. Further to that, council has agreed to provide an annual grant for 2024 worth $2,500.