For the second time, the Starke County Council has refused to approve an addition-renovation bond issue plan proposed by the Starke County Library Board. The bond issue would be for $2 million and would follow the pay-off of bonds on the Henry F. Schricker Library in Knox. Because of the payoff of that bond, there would be no increase in the levy. Councilman David Pearman talked about the Council’s hesitancy to approve the request.
“I think the main reason why we’re looking in that direction is prospectively looking at the future,” he stated. “We’re just a little bit concerned about some of the other capital projects that might come up. It’s not that we’re not very interested in and very cognizant of the needs of the Library because we realize that’s important. It’s just I think to really make an educated decision, we had to learn more about the project and also understand the scope of some of the other things that might be coming up in the future as well. What I suggested at the end of the meeting was that we form a committee and sit down and really drill down on some of this information and just understand where all of those funds are needed the most.”
Pearman said they just want to consider all aspects of the request.
“We need look at all of the line items and drill down the costs and understand where that money is going to go and where it’s earmarked. We just want to responsible for the taxpayers. I think the Library is probably one of the most important projects, but I think the feeling was that there is just a lot of unknowns going into this meeting.”
One of the main projects is the jail, and how it’s going to be funded.
“We’re looking at a couple of projects like that and the decision is almost out of our hands because of some things that are coming up and the state of the jail today,” continued Pearman. “I think the positive side of it is that really we’re not looking at a huge tax reduction if we get rid of this bond either so I think at this point for the whole Council and Board, for everybody to be educated, I think more time is needed for that to happen.”
With the roll-over from the the bond payout to a new bond coming December 31st, the Library Board is on a tight timeline. There may be some advertising done in advance of a decision so that timeline can be met.