Wednesday, November 22, 2006

We had a great meeting with the Monroe City Council last night. They are very supportive fo the project and will soon pass a formal resolution in support of it. Here is the report they were given which serves as a good summary of the progress thus far:

  • The Friends of the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library and the Library Foundation paid for a site and program study. The results of this indicate the need for a 5700 square foot facility occupying approximately .4 acres.
    • Two sites were identified. The first is currently railroad property for which Benton County is currently negotiating purchase. It is at the north end of town across from the high school. The second site is adjacent to the health clinic, middle and elementary schools.
    • At a recent town hall meeting at which the architect presented information about both sites, there was a very strong preference for the north site as it would create a wonderful entrance to the community. We are eagerly anticipating what happens with the County.
    • It is our understanding that both these sites are available at very little cost.
    • The overall estimate for construction is approximately one million dollars.
    • Both sites provide ample space should additional community facilities decide to relocate including City Hall, Food Bank, Skate Park, and Community Center (beyond the meeting rooms provided in the new library).

An excited group of citizens agreed to meet again to determine the next steps. This meeting took place on November 14, 2006. The discussion at this meeting focused on options for organizing and what the next steps are.

We heard reports from the citizens involved in both the Alsea and Philomath building projects as they represented different models for how to proceed.

    • The possibility of getting CDBG funding was discussed and will probably require an income survey be done of the school district service area which is basically the service area of the Monroe Library. An estimate is expected from COG within the next few weeks. CDBG funding would require the City of Monroe to be the formal applicant and recipient. CDBG could provide as much as $500,000.
    • It was reported than many private foundations will not fund governmental agencies so the need to form or be part of an existing 501C3 organization was expressed. Since CDBG money is a matching grant, it is obvious that funding from private foundations will be necessary. The possibility of sponsorship by SBCE is going to be further explored with a reasonable expectation this will be acceptable to SBCE as long as the library project can provide its own bookkeeper. This way SBCE can apply for grants and when the building is built, SBCE will donate it to the City of Monroe for continuing maintenance support with the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library continuing to operate the library itself.
    • Three major action steps emerged from the meeting:
      • Dena Elliot and Dorothy Burt will talk to the SBCE board about accepting a new library as an official SBCE project including setting up a separate bank account for this project.
      • Everyone will ask contacts about possible bookkeepers for the project; preferably using QuickBooks or a similar program.
      • Teresa Landers will work with Lynne Miller on writing a grant to secure funding for the architectural design phase.
If you want to be part of this exciting project, we need lots of volunteers. Right now we really need to find someone who is willing to be the bookkeeper for the project. We will supply the copy of QuickBooks. In time, we hope to be able to pay a small stipend for doing this.

The next committee meeting is Tuesday January 23 at 7 pm in the City Council Chambers. If you want to help but can't make the meeting, contact Lori Pelkey at the library.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Great community meeting

We had a meeting last night with a great group of about 12 citizens interested in working on raising the funds to get a new library. The next step is to get the formal support of the Monroe City Council which we hope will happen next Tuesday night at 6 pm. A more lengthy report will be posted after that meeting.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Community Meeting

A reminder that we are having a community meeting on Tuesday November 14, 2006 at the Monroe Library to continue working on getting a new library for Monroe. If you want to help with the project but can't make the meeting, stop by the Library at 664 Commercial Street in Monroe and let Lori know you are interested. Hope to see you there.