Nethaway: County Commissioner Karn is right on library
November 1, 2012
I’ve been helping out at the library in Breckenridge, in fact I’m the library volunteer of the year. I’ve been very pleased to be included in the planning for the new library, first as planned for a new building, and now in the Harris Street building that housed the CMC. Karn’s opponent has said that the county “got out-negotiated” by the town in this agreement, that it’s “not a fiscally responsible decision” to spend $175,000 more than was originally budgeted for the new building, and “What does it (the county) have to show for it?” if the space is not used for a library in the future. At first glance, he seems to have a good campaign issue, but consider the facts:
Because of wise planning by the county commissioners, the money for this library will come from funds set aside for capital improvements, built up over the years when revenue was higher. We’re fortunate to have farsighted leaders in these though economic times.
Summit County will have a 99-year lease on a bigger and much more welcoming space in the Harris Street building, as well as a shared kitchen and two large community spaces. The new library will be more than three times bigger than it is now, and 1,000 sq. feet larger than it would have been in the new building. This is a bad deal?
I think that it will be easier to raise more donations for this site, since it is historic and has a special connection to locals.
The county will keep the land where the library was to be built for future use, land worth far more than $175,000.
Any cost overruns will be paid by the town. As Karn’s opponent is surely aware, it isn’t unusual for new buildings to cost more than originally planned.
I think this is an extraordinary agreement between the county and the town, which will benefit the residents and visitors, for the next century. Pardon me, the next 99 years. Karn’s opponent is wrong. He’s either mistaken or trying to make up an issue that on closer examination is a strong recommendation for current County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier. I’m voting for Karn, and I hope you will too.