Sunday, November 2, 2014

Columbia Heights Needs New Library

In an apparent rejection of the sacred concept of recycling, voters in the Minneapolis inner ring suburb of Columbia Heights are being asked to vote "yes" on the financing and construction of a new library. The existing library, on 40th St. NE, looks like this:

It's a building full of the regular library stuff, books, periodicals and now computer terminals for the free use of patrons. There's a section for children and bathroom facilities downstairs.

Three blocks away, on 43rd St. NE, there's a building that a short time ago housed a supermarket but is now vacant. It's a one-story facility with plenty of room for educational materials and easy access for the crippled. Lots of free parking, too.  But it doesn't seem to have been considered an option for a new library.

An article in a local newspaper describes only two options, retention of the existing library or construction of a new one. The idea that another building could be adapted to a new use seems to have escaped the minds of the pro-library contingent.

The election results included voter approval of bonding of up to $7 million dollars for a new library, per this story.  Thirty-two percent of the city population voted in the election and the bond issue was passed by 8 % of the city's residents.  Although one could say that the deciding vote was worth $7 million, each of the votes cast that approved the issue could also be considered to be worth $4413.19.

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