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[IN] Greene County Library Hearings
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Linton library board conducts public hearings
The Margaret Cooper Public Library Board conducted a public meeting Thursday night concerning the construction of a new library building.
Three citizens attended the meeting, all in support of the construction of the building, even supporting the library as it was originally proposed.
"I realize money is always an object, but the library we have now is nearly 100 years old. If we build a new library it will be here for the next 100 years or so. We need to build the maximum proposed now or we never will. We don't want this building pieced together," explained Linton resident Patty Evans.
"This is a facility that is useful to us all. I have been using this library for 70 years and it is crowded and cramped for space. If we don't do it now, we never will. I think we can do it and do it to the max. I share this opinion with everyone I meet on the street. I think we also need to tell people that they need to use our library more."
The current proposal has reduced the overall cost of the new library from $3.6 million to just under $2 million. It cuts the library from 17,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet, cutting the Young Adult room, child services, Indiana and genealogy room, public meeting rooms, reference areas, storages and offices.
The current library is around 5,000 square feet.
"We will have to do some rearranging for our programs, and having a locked Indiana and genealogy room was important because we have many one-of-a kind pieces that we need to protect," explained library director Shelley Williams.
"I understand the tax rate is a concern, but the actual pennies it will add will not bankrupt anyone. I feel this is a program we can sell. Look at the school, did anyone leave because we have a new, beautiful school. I say do it and do it right because we will not do it again for over 100 years, but that is just one person's opinion," Evans added.
Evans also discussed fundraising, including using memorial donations for purchase of items for the library such as tables and chairs.
"I understand it is great. I understand money is an issue, but even the new plan is better than what we have now," stated resident Nancy Patterson.
Williams discussed reducing some soft costs such as moving expenses, artwork and furniture.
"A newer building would be less expensive to maintain and handicap accessible. It will all be on one floor and remain central to the city which is very important to this board. We would also have a lot of parking," explained board president Jim Morrison.
The board is looking at the Chamber of Commerce parking lot that is one block south of the library next to the current Head Start facility.
"We appreciate seeing public support here, although I wish more would attend. We are going to do what we have to do to get a new library," stated board member Nick Karazsia.