Smith Valley Library project gets commitment from county for $250,000

SMITH VALLEY - A long-anticipated library project has received vital financial commitment from county officials.

Lyon County commissioners last week agreed to dedicate $250,000 toward the building of a joint Smith Valley-Lyon County School District library facility.

Library Director Dianne Brigham said the commitment is necessary in order for fund-raising efforts to move forward.

"We want to make sure Lyon County is on board at this point. The school district has committed $300,000 toward construction and the Smith Valley Friends of the Library have raised over $100,000 to be used specifically for extras and furnishing," she told commissioners. "The committee would like a commitment from the county before moving forward with a major fund-raising campaign. I think this is a win-win situation for everyone involved."

Commissioner LeRoy Goodman, however, noted the money was not allocated in the current budget and was hesitant to commit county money until a letter from the County Library Board expressing their commitment to the project was received.

"I have some reservations about things like this. I really want to make sure the library board of trustees understands the possible impact this could have. We do have new members on that board and I want to make sure they are on board with this."

Goodman's hesitation sparked Commissioner Phyllis Hunewill, a Smith Valley resident, to point out the library board had approved this project in concept several years ago and were the ones who appointed the current planning committee.

"The whole purpose of having this on the agenda today is we have to be committed at this point or else these people are wasting their time.

"They are going on tour in September to look at other libraries to get ideas, so I think this board needs to step up at this time and say 'Yes, we commit at least the $250,000.' We've been talking about it for at least two years now. If we are not going to commit, we might as well dissolve what they are working on."

Both Hunewill and Brigham confirmed the trustees are ready to move forward, but they could not send an official letter because discussion and action on the issue had not been placed on their meeting agenda. Hunewill's motion to commit $250,000 of capital projects money was approved unanimously.

Comptroller Rita Evasovic will return to the board with a recommendation as to which year's budget it will be designated to come from.

The project should go out to bid in the spring of 2002, with construction to begin during the summer.


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