The power of the people was heard. As expected, the library board has withdrawn its plan to move to the John Rhodes Community following a fire storm of protest from the public when news spread that the current restaurant, Chilly Willy’s would be closed to accommodate the library move.
Cindy Weir, the library’s director told council Monday night the board thought the move would be a positive one for the community but since the topic has made headlines it was clear the community was not supportive of the idea.
That leaves current owner, Jody Wilson and his Chilly Willy’s restaurant a stay, for now. The current lease with the city expires at the end of September.
CAO Joe Fratesi told council that the current arrangement with Chilly Willy’s will stay in place until the end of the current hockey season, around April. However the city will now have three options to explore. Commissioner of community services Nick Apostle will present a report to council on September 29.
Those options include keeping the same arrangement.Renegotiating the terms of the lease with the current operator or issuing an Expression of Interest from other operators who want to run the restaurant. Currently Chilly Willy’s pays $400 a month in rent and 5 percent of earnings.
Meanwhile the library at Churchill Plaza will remain at its current location. The Library board and only the library board will decide on its fate. Not council.