By Chris J. Herby
August 19, 2010
Our local election on August 24th is going to decide something very important for our community. There are two ballot propositions that will determine the location of our new public library if one is built. It is unfortunate that only city residents can vote on this important issue. All of the residents of the Borough help pay for it and also have access to it. Even though it is unfortunate Borough residents can't vote on it, I still feel it is very important to build it in a location that all residents can have reasonable access to it.
The site at Copper Ridge that was chosen by both the City Council and the site selection committee is the only location that provides easy access and readily available parking. Anyone on the West end or North of town would be able to drive right to the library via the 3rd avenue bypass without having to deal with the downtown congestion. Anyone on the South end or Bear Valley etc. will simply go up Schoenbar Rd. and drive right to the new library without having to deal with the downtown congestion. I fail to see any advantage in requiring the library to stay downtown. Certainly the museum should stay there but not the library.
As far as the Grant Street site goes, we cannot afford to lose all of that parking that is used by courthouse people as well as area residents. The Grant Street site would also be very questionable access on snowy and icy days in the winter.
As for the idea of expanding in the existing library location, just go there on any day in the summer and look for a parking spot and see what you think.
I am one of the few people that can actually speak to the convenience of the Copper Ridge location through direct personal knowledge. After having my business located on Stedman Street for over 25 years I decided to build a new building on Copper Ridge. I started construction well over a year ago and moved my business nine months ago. This was long before it was ever considered as a possible site for the library. If the library is built on Copper Ridge, it will not help my business nor will it hurt it. I just want voters to know that the location could not be any more convenient and the view of Deer Mountain is spectacular. It is so refreshing to be able to go to the West end for whatever reason and not have to deal with the downtown congestion.
I value the tourism industry. It is a very important part of our local economy. But I believe for once we should make a decision based on the needs of our local residents and not of the tourists. Let's put the library where the majority of our residents can drive to it and park. That would be Copper Ridge not downtown. Please vote Yes on proposition 1 and No on proposition 2.
Chris J. Herby
Received August 16, 2010 - Published August 19, 2010
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