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Monday, July 25, 2016

Library director talks to Bloomfield Town Council about possible expansion

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bloomfield-Eastern Greene Public Library Director John Helling told the Bloomfield Town Council on Tuesday night about a possible future expansion that may need its sponsorship.

Helling addressed the council to get its support for the exploration of an application for a Community Focus Fund Grant to help pay for the future addition of a 1,600 square feet two-story building to the east side of the current library facility on Mechanic Street.

The location is currently a parking lot, where the former Vest Service Station and Patty's Flower Shop was located.

The library's board of trustees is exploring having Southern Indiana Development Commission (SIDC) of Loogootee prepare the grant application, Helling said.

However, there may be a hitch.

Bloomfield Town Councilman Roger Doane questions whether the town council is the proper governing agency to sponsor the grant.

Doane said he doesn't know what authority the town of Bloomfield has in the matter since the library has no taxing authority through the town, only the county.

At Doane's suggestion, the council directed town attorney Luke Rudisill to discuss with the library's attorney, John Rowe, to get a determination of whether the town council or the county commissioners have authority to act on the library's request.

"I'll back what you are doing," Doane told Helling, but he said, "There is no sense in starting something down the road and then finding out and we went though the wrong agency. Once we get that determination, I don't see a problem going through the town."

The council then made a motion to table Helling's request until a legal determination can be made.

Rudisill told the council he would report his findings at the May 5 meeting.

Helling says the library board has no firm plans at this point.

He pointed out to the Greene County Daily World that the grant would be used to assist in the planning process by having an architectural and environmental impact plan ready in the event that future grant funding would become available.

"It's our idea to do this building project, if we ever end up doing it, without issuing any bonds or raising the property tax burden on anybody," Helling said. "This isn't something we are going to force through no matter what the environment is. We are just kind of getting ready for the future.

"This is very exploratory. It's not something that we've got an exact plan on. We are just trying to be prepared."

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Who will pay for the future staffing, maintenance and services that will be required to maintain this expansion? Just like many grants, you receive the one time money, but the taxpayer is left to pay the recurring costs. Which taxpayer rates will increase? Just those in the city of Bloomfield?

-- Posted by Tbird Forever on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 9:22 AM

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