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Memorial Scout book box approved

Posted on December 24, 2023 by Sunny South News

By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News

The 3rd Coaldale Scouts have been approved to set up a book box in memory of a scout.

During Coaldale town council’s regular Dec. 11 meeting, representatives from a local scout group were on hand to discuss installing a new book box in town.

The 3rd Coaldale Scouts want to install a memorial Book Box in the public right-of-way on the corner of 20 Avenue and 13 Street. Council had previously reviewed the request at their Nov. 27 meeting. However, as representatives of the scout troop were not in attendance at the meeting, council tabled discussion until representatives were able to attend in person.

A Book Box, often referred to as Little Free Libraries is a community structure whose purpose is to provide users with access to literature, allowing people to either take or leave a book at the box, free of charge.

“It’s really to promote literacy in, for the residents of Coaldale. It gives an opportunity for those who can’t afford to buy books to get books that they can’t afford to buy for free and provide, if they have books of their own that they have read and want to return for a second use, they can leave them behind in the library,” said Wayne Etches, leader of the 3rd Coaldale Scout troop.

The book box holds a “special significance” to the scouts, as it would be in honour of a troop member who had passed away. The book box, said Etches, would be erected in their memory.

They had chosen the location at the corner of 20 Avenue and 13 Street because it is a high traffic area, with its proximity to the ice rink and community centre. Additionally, because it’s a highly visible location, Etches said that they believe it “would probably be the least area to be vandalized”, as opposed to a less visible area, such as by the HUB. Their scout hall is also located in the same parking lot, and they meet weekly and could keep an eye on it. However, they are open to other suitable locations for it.

“The location of it isn’t as significant as the fact that we would like to get it up in memory of this youth.”

Mayor Jack Van Rijn cited concern with the size of it, as at 26 inches wide and 31 inches deep, he thought it was “quite a large” box for one post. Etches said they have two posts for it.

Coun. Bill Chapman asked if the scouts would be maintaining and looking after the book box, which Etches said they would “as well as we can”.

Coun. Lisa Reis asked if there would be a plaque, which Etches confirmed.

Council unanimously passed a motion to approve the issuing a Development Permit for the Book Box and waive development permit and operational fees for installation.

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