Library board appears headed for new building in Monticello

MONTICELLO — The Monticello-based Allerton Public Library Board seems poised to pursue construction of a new building on land it purchased last December. After a 30-minute closed session on Wednesday to consider a different site, board members took no action.

Details of that site were not disclosed, but library board attorney John Foltz commented, "we just decided not to move the ball down the field at this time on the option."

Another option — renovating the current library location in the 1897 Community Building — also received little board support last week when a motion to pursue a feasibility study failed for lack of a second. That means the board will now move towards building on the 10.98 acres of Green Apple Lane property purchased from Carle Clinic last December.

"We will put the motion for schematic design drawing (for a new building) back on the agenda for November," said library board president Sue Gortner.

The call for a feasibility study to estimate the cost of renovating the current library — the one that could not garner a second last week — may also be back on the agenda, but Foltz does not see it being approved.

"As far as that is concerned, my sense is the board basically took a position last week, and that's probably going to be the position the next meeting," he said.

Cost of that study was estimated at $15,000, with the idea it would be split between the library board and Community Board of Managers, which operates the Community Building.

Critics have urged the board to stay in the current downtown-area location, but a majority of the board members have said they did not want to own the structure, and the legality of a lease option is uncertain.

Since 2008, the library district has received $2.9 million from the Max Hency estate, which they plan on using to construct a 10,000 to 12,000-square-foot library at 4000 Green Apple Lane. The current library is 4,769 square feet.

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Brad Cortright wrote on October 10, 2013 at 6:10 pm

We should all congratulate the Allerton Library Board on moving the library to the far edge of town away from the bulk of the population.  Can you hear it already?  "Mom!  Dad!  Can you give me a ride to library?"