Carbondale purchases land for library

CARBONDALE—The Carbondale City Council approved the purchase of the lot at Third and Main streets in Carbondale to begin the process of raising funds for a new library.

Kandi Hinck, president of the Carbondale Library Board, approached the city council seeking endorsement for the proposed new library.

“I have brought to you this evening the sketch of the proposed library that we are so animatedly in support of and to remind you of what the library actually means to the city of Carbondale,“ Kandi Hinck said. “ We first approached the city council in 2010 with the notion of the city helping us get the new building started, but we have been stalemated in the process.

“Just a reminder to you that the library is the front porch of the community,” Hinck said. “Whenever an organization needs help, the library is the first group that is accessible because we will assist to the best of our ability and people know we will help. The city council asked the library for an updated newsletter and we complied with your wish. The Harmonettes asked the library to take over the Halloween festivities after 50 years and we are more than happy to continue that tradition. If a shut-in is not able to come to the library for books, we make sure that they get books. We are a service library to our community even though the resources and space is limiting, we try our best to make things work. Our storage area is the city hall attic and the storage cabinets in this work room. This needs to happen for our citizens.”

In support of library, a room full of fellow citizens of Carbondale were on hand to voice their opinions to the council about it was time to take action after six years without action.

“We have been hearing no answer from the council on why things haven’t progressed after six years,” said Gina Reynolds, Carbondale resident.

“Where is the money going to come from?” asked John Ryan, council president. “We are all in support of the new library, but the bottom line is money. We can’t take money out of the trash funding, or the water account. If that was done, we would have violated state law. We have to abide by the laws.”

“Have you investigated what the laws are that will allow the city to help us in the process of getting this off the ground?” Reynolds asked. “We have come to the council for years now asking the same questions and unfortunately we have been getting the same response, ‘Where is the money coming from?’ If the city showed the community that they are actually behind this whole project, then I know the community would step up to the plate to make this a reality.”

“I know if you had a capital fund drive with a list of donors that would be a positive outlook for the council to show the actual interest in it,” said Larry Hinck, council member.

“Look around the room,” Reynolds said. “You have a lot of the supporters right here in front of you and we have been waiting for 6 years to get the council to respond to the purchase of the property to start this. Don’t tell me you are behind it because it’s been the same answer each time the library board makes a request to the council.”

“The funding doesn’t stop after the construction on the project is done,” Reynolds said.

“We are aware of that and we will go to great lengths to make this work for our community,” Kandi Hinck said. “This new building will demonstrate to the community that we have pride and are willing to share it with the community.”

Dawn Sitz, council member, made a motion for the city to give the library board $20,000 for the purpose of buying the property at the northeast corner of Third and Main and for the demolition of the current structure. Cheryl Lister, council member, seconded the motion. The motion was carried and the room erupted with applause and cheers.

Members of audience thanked the council for taking an action to get things started with the library.

In other business, the council:

• approved the purchase of no-parking signs to be used at the school. Gordon Smith, police chief, said signs cost $21.95 each and he would need five. Smith also informed the council that he was advertising for a full-time officer. The department currently has two full-time and two part-time officers.

• tabled a charter ordinance and the credit card use policy until the next meeting.

• heard from Jim Foster, candidate for Osage County Commissioner.

• approved to pay all outstanding bills.

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