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Library renovation paused until Imagine Clearwater final costs are known

Last month, the City Council agreed to close the Main Library effective Sept. 25 so contractors could begin a $4 million renovation of the structure. It was to become the symbolic groundbreaking of Imagine Clearwater, the roughly $64 million plan to redevelop the downtown waterfront into a park with a concert venue, garden and a Bluff walk surrounded by a plaza with housing and retail.

But Thursday, when it came time for the council to give contractors the green light to begin work, the estimate for the library had climbed to $6.4 million with all costs factored in.

“We’ve been hearing for many, many months now that (the contractor) will be able to bring this in under time and under budget and seeing the numbers go up for the library as the first component of this is not a good omen,” said city council member Mark Bunker. “But I

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