Library decision delayed in Monticello
MONTICELLO — The library board this week pushed back approval of schematic design for a new library while it takes a longer look at the possibility of swapping its newly acquired land for a spot closer to downtown.
Last December, the board purchased 10.98 acres of land on Green Apple Lane with the intent of building a new library but has been criticized in recent months for not taking a closer look at renovating the current library location inside the 1897 Community Building, or looking at another spot closer to downtown.
Library Board member Jeff Clodfelter told the 20 people at this week's meeting session that there have been informal land-swap talks with the city concerning the former Pepsin property, located just east of the downtown square.
"Any possibility would have to do with this brownfield EPA grant," said Clodfelter, referring to state grants that helped fund cleanup efforts at the former syrup company and adjacent properties. "We need to get something from the EPA about potential charge-backs, because that would be a concern to the city of Monticello."
The idea of brownfield grants is to get property ready for redevelopment, which discourages non-property-tax-generating entities from locating there. If that does happen, the EPA can require a portion of the grant to be repaid.
Also at issue is the fact the downtown property is smaller and assessed for less than the Green Apple Lane land, meaning the city would likely have to find a way to make the trade more even. Clodfelter said the city is also researching whether a 12,000-square-foot library could be built on the Pepsin site.