Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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February 20, 2009

Mayor backing library plans

Goodnight says groups have same goal for downtown

There may be two separate plans for keeping library services downtown, but Thursday, Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight made it clear those plans aren’t mutually exclusive.

Wednesday, two groups of community leaders made closed-door presentations to the Kokomo-Howard County Library Board, hoping to influence the board’s building plans.

Goodnight led one of the groups, and Howard County Commissioner Dave Trine led the other.

Both groups, however, shared a single goal.

Instead of building a $1 million auxiliary building on the city’s south side, both groups want the library to build downtown.

Trine’s group offered a tentative plan to purchase property to the east of the library, including the Coordinated Assistance Ministries center on Market Street.

Goodnight’s group simply told the library board they’re working on a plan involving unspecified downtown property, and would have details shortly.

Both proposals, however, come as the library board is on the verge of making a decision.

Library board president Susan Luttrell said he auxiliary “Outreach” building, which will garage bookmobiles and serve as a hub for cataloging new materials, is currently slated for location next to the South Branch, 1755 E. Center Road.

“We’ve started to plan for [the Outreach Building] to go to the South Branch, and we’re still headed that way, but we’ve been asked to listen to the two plans,” Luttrell said after Wednesday’s library board meeting. “We’ll have to study them both to see if they’ll change our minds.”

Wednesday, Trine acknowledged the library board has been offered two different options.

“Now there are three plans,” Trine said. “The city has a plan, the library has a plan to expand out south and there is the community development plan. We were all working together.”

Goodnight echoed that sentiment Wednesday, saying his group isn’t out to compete with Trine’s proposal.

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