Back in May, when Highland Park council members met to discuss cutting costs on the Town Hall renovation project, they also removed the option of closing the library.
At the time they didn’t want to do it, and former councilwoman Gail Madden applauded that decision, as a liaison for the library. Seems that’s changed.
At Monday afternoon’s council worksession, the councilmen weighed the benefits of closing it — safety, allowing contractors free reign of the worksite — or leaving it open. Closing the library and opening a temporary facility could run the town $105,000 in temporary fees — movers, shelf rental, desk purchases — and that’s provided the town find a location that’s willing to lease the space for nothing. Zero. No money.
(I got a note from town administrator Bill Lindley this morning — “Our cost study for temporary location of the library did include $144,000 in rental fees for 18 months. This brings our overall cost estimate to $170,952.” I must’ve been in shock from the heat or something. My apologies.)
The council members eventually decided to hold off on a decision until the town hires a construction manager for the project, which is expected by July 9.
“If it costs us more money to move the library, but it’s safer, I think that’s something to consider,” said Councilman Stephen Rogers.
Former mayor Bill Seay also suggested closing the library to patrons, but having an off-site book pick-up.
So, what’ya think? Would you head to a temporary facility? Or just not read for 16 months?