Archive for Thursday, August 26, 2004

Library to survey residents

Failed bond issue leads to new library poll

August 26, 2004

Just months after failing to procure $3.79 million in funds from voters within the library's 50-square-mile district, Basehor Community Library officials are preparing to ask residents for their opinions on possibilities for the future.

Library director Carla Kaiser said library officials have drafted a survey and will send the questionnaire out to patrons within coming weeks, possibly by Sept. 1. "We really want to hear what people think our direction should be," Kaiser said.

In April, voters rejected the bond issue, 799 to 584. The bond issue, which would have paid for the construction and equipment of a new facility on 158th Street, southwest of the current facility, was defeated in each of the three voting precincts.

Basehor residents Ray and Anne Breuer donated the land on 158th Street to the library in 2002, but a provision in the donation agreement stipulates construction of a new facility must begin within five years of the donation date.

Kaiser said library officials have researched other options than pursuing a new, permanent facility. One of those options includes purchasing a vacant building next door to the library -- the building that formerly held Doc and Bruties Pizza -- but found a southern expansion into the building impractical.

While she didn't rule out options other than building on 158th Street, Kaiser said the library board of trustees still has its sights set on the area. "Our goal is to have a new facility," she said.

Kaiser addressed the Basehor City Council Monday night about another library related issue -- the parking lot in front of the library, which city officials and police officers have deemed a safety hazard.

Last week, interim Basehor police chief Martin Cigich said the parking situation along 155th Street between Ripley and Maple streets is not safe for motorists, who have difficulty backing out of the parking lot because limited space causes other cars to block their view of on-coming traffic.

The city has proposed a project that would involve changing the parking structure in front of the library and other nearby buildings to a diagonal-only parking lot. Motorists coming from the north would be able to pull directly into a parking place while drivers coming from the south would have to go around the block before parking.

To make the parking lot near the library a diagonal-only lot, the city would have to cut out portions of land near the corner of Ripley Street and redirect parts of a sidewalk.

Kaiser said library officials look forward to discussing possible remedies to the parking situation dilemma in coming weeks.

"We appreciate the extension of knowledge that stuff is happening on this," Kaiser said.

"We're glad the city is looking at that and trying to come up with some solutions."

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