The news article in the Dec. 21, 2011, Henry County Local concerning the need for a new Henry County Library was totally misleading. Here is the other side of the story that I observed as a citizen during the Nov, 3, 2011, Henry County Library meeting. Note: There was not a Henry County Local reporter in attendance during this meeting.
Fact: During the Nov. 3, 2011, “brainstorming” public meeting held at the Henry County Library. Contrary to the Henry County Local article, most of the 20 people in attendance were either library board members or staff employees. The remaining three out of four citizens in attendance were those who voiced their concern over building a new multi-million dollar library, planned to be built at taxpayer’s expense, on a $70,000 three-acre lot located in Eminence at the intersection of East Broadway and King Street.
Other concerns voiced by the residents were:
• Why is the library board building a new library when they can renovate and build another 3,000 square feet onto the existing 8,000-square-feet library?
• There is existing property on the current site owned by the library, and available land for sale adjacent to the library, that can be used for additional building and parking expansion.
• Why is the library board taking the full 4 percent property tax rate hike each year, when they are already showing a surplus of cash at the end of their fiscal year?
• In the new age of Internet E-book readers such as the Kindle, the demand for public libraries is beginning to be reduced.
The bottom line is that due to the continuing financial crisis in our nation’s economy, many taxpayers of Henry County are hurting financially. Some are barely able to pay their debts and property taxes, and others are losing their homes and farms. This is not the time to build a multi-million dollar library when the current library could be renovated to serve the needs of our citizens.