Ashland library vote delayed

Friday, February 11, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 11:42 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

The Daniel Boone Library Board of Trustees decided Thursday night that it needed more information before voting to purchase property to build a permanent Ashland library facility.

Tommy Tomlin, chair of the Long Range Planning Committee, recommended the library staff continue gathering details about the cost of two potential locations before the final land-purchase decisions are made.

Karen Neely, a staff liaison to the planning committee, said the properties had many similarities and were both suitable sites that were ready to build on.

“It’s been a long process to narrow them down to two,” Neely said.

The Palomino Ridge subdivision is one possible location. The building would stand at the intersection of Martha Crump Drive and West Main Street, across from the Southern Boone County High School.

The second possibility is in Bluegrass South Estates at Red Tail Drive and Henry Clay Boulevard. The building would stand southeast of an entrance to the Southern Boone County Primary School.

Both locations have utility hookups and flexibility for expansion.

Tomlin said members of the planning committee favor the location in Bluegrass South Estates.

“We like the one in the south, but there are things that could change in the dollars and cents of it,” he said.

Melissa Carr, director of the Daniel Boone Regional Library system, said the current Ashland facility covers about 3,300 square feet, and more space is necessary.

The new facility will be between 5,000 and 10,000 square feet and could serve anywhere between 3,000 to 15,000 people.

Kris Farris, spokeswoman for the library system, said adding a library branch in Ashland has been in the works since 1999, when the planning committee formulated a master facilities plan that outlined the library system’s future building priorities.

First, the plan called for an expanded Columbia facility; then, to remodel the Callaway County Library.

When both those tasks were complete, the committee turned its attention to Ashland, an area that showed need for an expanded library.

The current Southern Boone County Public Library, a rented facility at 117 E. Broadway in Ashland, was set up in 2000 so the library staff could judge what kind of services the community needed and how much use a new library would get.

The library staff will present their findings at the March 10 Board of Trustees meeting.

A budget amendment must first be passed before the board can vote to purchase new property.

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