votes yes on new library building
February 16, 2009 | SMITHFIELD -- The Smithfield City
Redevelopment Agency voted unanimously Wednesday to
buy land for a new library and other development.
The RDA is made up entirely of the City Council. The
RDA came into session during a recess at the city council
meeting, which is when the matters were discussed and
the vote took place. RDA member Brent Buttars said that
various ideas have been discussed over the previous
five years and that he feels this is the best time and
place to do it.
The RDA wants to buy the land and have a new library
built on it. Aside from the library, the land will also
contain spots for two commercial pads and a new city
The exact cost of the project isn't known yet. However,
the city has approximately $1.94 million to spend on
purchasing the land and getting the buildings constructed.
The basic plan discussed at the meeting was to take
the money to an architect and then find out the size
of the buildings and when construction can begin.
Smithfield's existing library is about 11,000 square
feet and the new library is estimated to be about 10,000
square feet. Despite the new library being smaller,
RDA member Dennis Watkins smiled and said that the present
library workers would really like the new library better
once it's finished.
The sought-after land is located on the corner of
100 South and Main Street on the east side of the road.
Each member of the RDA expressed excitement for the
project and thought it was a good idea. "I think it's
a great idea," said Mike Oliverson. "I think it's ideal."
City Recorder Dean Clegg said there are a lot of questions
as to the details of the project. Clegg mentioned that
a local resident owns a house on the lot but doesn't
live in it. The lot may still be purchased even if the
house isn't included, although the RDA ideally wants
the house as well.
Whether or not the owner of the house is willingly
to sell his portion of the lot is unknown. Clegg compared
the negotiations to dating, saying "it's a lot like
the girls I used to date. They'd seem interested until
I'd ask them out." He also said "we don't know where
we're going with this yet."
The RDA still isn't sure on how exactly everything
in the project will work but they all agreed it was
a good idea, as evidenced by the 6-0 vote. Mayor Chad
Downs said he liked the idea and that he was in full
support of it.