Concerns about the $70,000 annual jump in running costs to ratepayers for Warrnambools' new library have been aired again, but the mayor has described it as one of the city's most positive projects.
The council also says paying more to operate the facility was not a surprise and was actually forecast in the original business case years ago.
Cr Angie Paspaliaris told last week's council meeting she was concerned with the ongoing operating costs for Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum and the increased operating cost requirements with the new learning and library hub which was due to open later this year.
The cost of running the new library will balloon from $928,000 to $1.68 million in the 2022-23 year, but that cost will be offset by a $684,000 contribution from TAFE and the state government.
That means the deficit for the running costs of the budget will be about $69,000 more next financial year.
Mayor Vicki Jellie said new library was the facility Warrnambool should have had 10 years ago.
"It's just so fabulous that we are getting it here now," she said.
"Yes, the operating costs will be more than we have now, we understand that, but the absolute benefit that we're going to get from this facility for the community absolutely will support so many people."
Cr Jellie said Warrnambool, historically, had a relatively low educational attainment rate and a facility like the new learning and library hub will be an advantage for students.
"There are so many more things in that facility than just a library," she said.
"It's a fabulous outcome and one of the most positive projects in the city.
"I think the extra costs that we're paying, we're getting something that's three or four times what we've got now.
"Once everyone sees it and uses it, you will be thrilled with what it will be able to do for our community."
The council said the $684,000 from TAFE and the government to assist with the library's operation included funds that previously went to the Corangamite Regional Library Corporation.
There will also be income generated from the sub-letting of a café within the library and income from a space made available to the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions.
Planning for a new library began more than a decade ago and the council had expected a reasonable increase in costs because the building was four times the size of the current building and served a larger and growing population, it said.
When the current library was opened in the mid-1970s Warrnambool's population was about 20,000.
The council said the original business case for the project had forecast higher costs, however the council said it had made efforts to contain those where possible.
Research has shown that libraries provide considerable socio-economic returns with every $1 invested in public libraries returning up to $4.30 to the local community, it said.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard:
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.