City makes new offer on library

By FRED LUCAS State Journal Staff Writer Published:

The City Commission voted 3-2 Thursday to make a counter-offer to buy the current Paul Sawyier Public Library Building on Wapping Street for $730,000. But that's only if the library board purchases the adjacent city-owned parking lot at a cost between $450,000 and $500,000.

So now it's up the Paul Sawyier Public Library Board whether to accept the deal proposed by the city, which it will likely do, board member Mark Overstreet said.

The decision comes after about a year of negotiations between the city and library board and amid major questions on whether City Hall should move into the historic library building and whether Wapping Street is the appropriate location for the new facility.

Neither city nor library officials will release the price of the initial offer the library made in October. However, Mayor Bill May has mentioned that an early price was $750,000 to purchase the building.

One significant aspect of the counter-offer is that neither the city nor the library are bound by the previous offer placed on the table in October. This could even open the door for exploring the proposed Wilkinson Boulevard site for the new library, library board chairman Bill Kirkland said.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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