Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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July 25, 2011

Main library wants to continue building

City agreement on Tuesday meeting agenda

Kokomo — The final details haven’t been worked out, but Kokomo-Howard County Public Library officials hope plans to acquire a downtown parking lot come together by a special meeting Tuesday.

The library board is hoping to acquire about 56 parking spaces across Mulberry Street to the north of the Main Library, 220 N. Union St.

Getting those spaces will allow the library to move ahead with plans to build an $875,000 building on a library-owned parking lot to the east of the main branch.

Putting the new outreach building on those spaces would leave the library with a parking shortage, so library officials are hoping to acquire a lot currently owned by the Kokomo Tribune.

City officials are trying to broker a separate deal to acquire two other lots at the southwest corner of Taylor and Market streets, and to then fix up those lots and donate them to the Tribune.

Both Tribune publisher Robyn McCloskey and Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight said Friday a deal for the two lots — one owned by AT&T and the other owned by Kokomo developer Scott Pitcher — has yet to be finalized.

“It’s not set up yet, but I think it will be by Tuesday,” Goodnight said.

McCloskey said she’s working with the city to determine whether the arrangement will work for the newspaper.

“We’re evaluating if the trade will meet our needs, our requirements for employee parking. If so, then we’ll plan to move ahead,” McCloskey said.

The new building would house the library’s collection management and outreach departments.

Collection management catalogs new materials and prepares them for the library’s public collection, and also culls dated materials from the shelves. Outreach deals primarily with the library’s two bookmobiles. That’s why a garage — where the bookmobiles will be parked — is part of the building plan.

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