By Angela Simmons
LEBANON – The City of Lebanon Public Property Committee voted to move forward a request from the Lebanon Public Library to place a referendum on the April ballot for money that would help to revamp the new library building and possibly see the city take ownership of it. They also discussed possible plans to include other local municipalities in a future district.
Members of the library board presented pamphlets to the board sharing the hopes for the future of the new library building, including expanded offerings, having conference rooms for studying and research, having community rooms for community organizations, etc., to use, a dedicated children’s area and more.
The new building is the former St. Joseph Parish Elementary School, and it needs several upgrades, including a new roof, new windows, and new HVAC systems. The large building and grounds do provide enough spaced for the library to possibly expand on the structure if desired, but will definitely accommodate many of the library’s dreams for accommodating the community of Lebanon for the foreseeable future.
Board member Dr. George Fero and Alderman Frank Almeter agreed that City Attorney John Long should look at the proposal. Fero said that though the library board discussed becoming a library district to encompass other communities such as New Baden, they felt that at the present time “it would muddy the waters, and the immediate need is to get that building with roof on it. It would be too muddy to go out and be asking to create a new library district and a bond issue at the same time. We need to move one step at a time. Let’s get the building up to snuff, and then that would increase the likelihood that communities such as New Baden and Summerfield would vote in favor of establishing a district.”
The bond has to be placed on the ballot by January 12, and the council is expected to vote on it next council meeting, October 22 at 7:00 p.m.