Archive for Thursday, April 22, 2004

Library uncertain of future

April 22, 2004

Nearly three weeks after a $3.79 million bond issue failed, Basehor Community Library officials are still considering the next steps in securing funds to pay for a new facility.

"We just decided we want to take a step back and figure out what our options are," said Janice Garcia, president of the Basehor Community Library Board of Trustees.

Earlier this month, voters in the approximate 50-square mile library district rejected the bond issue, 806 to 587. The funds would have paid for a new facility on 158th Street, southwest of the library's current building.

The Basehor Community Library Board of Trustees met last week, on Wednesday night, to discuss the failed bond issue. The meeting revealed no answers as to what steps the library may take in the future to alleviate a lack of space at its current location.

"We feel at this point we have to be open-minded," Garcia said. She added that the library still considers a new facility a top priority but that another bond issue probably won't be put forth for at least six to eight months.

"It's a necessity," she said. "We're out of space. We can't wait for a few years."

Since the bond issue failed, library officials have met with voters to discuss what problems they had with the proposal. Much of the discourse has centered on size of the proposed facility, 21,000 square feet, and cost of the building, the debt of which would be repaid over a 10-year period.

In coming weeks, the library will begin addressing those two issues -- size of the proposed building and the maturity date of the total cost -- with library architects and bond counsel, Garcia said.

Garcia said library officials are done looking at the past to help prepare for the future.

"We're going to move forward," she said. "At this point, we have to."

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