Posted: Nov 24, 2009 4:01 PM by Amanda Venegas
Updated: Nov 24, 2009 4:01 PM
After 30 years of being housed in a remodeled warehouse, the Parmly Billings Library is looking to make a big change by relocating or renovating. Monday night, the Billings City Council took a closer look at its options for the library.
City council members originally planned to make a decision about the library Monday night. But after feedback from the library board about finances and community input regarding other options, the council decided to delay the decision until its next meeting.
Right now, the library board has presented three options. They include demolishing the current library and building a new facility at the same location at a cost of $17.3 million. Or the city could remodel the existing library for an estimated $15 million. The third option at a cost of $14.75 million dollars involves relocating the library into the Gainan's building, located on N. 30th Street, across from the Lincoln Center.
The library board is recommending the third option, because it would be the most cost-efficient for taxpayers. There's been a push to get the library project going in order to qualify for federal stimulus dollars by the end of 2011.
"At this point there seems less of an urgency about the rush. And I think it's more important as was discussed tonight that the public is heard from and the options are looked at and we get the right decision made," Parmly Billings Library Director Bill Cochran said.
Monday night's decision to postpone approving a final library plan will give the library board extra time to work out financial arrangements dealing with the Gainan's building. The library issue will go back before the council December 14th for public comment. If approved, Billings voters could see a library bond issue as early as March.