Library expansion on the menu for 2013

The Poynette Area Public Library (center) potential expansion into the 'Little Blessings' building (at left) will be a subject of discussion at the next Poynette Village Board meeting, and is likely to be a hot topic next year.

With 2013 budget deliberations squarely in the rearview mirror, it looks like expansion of the Poynette Area Public Library will occupy the next spot on the village board’s to-do list.

It also looks as if the focus of those efforts will be the village-owned “Little Blessings” building, particularly after last month’s easily passed village-wide referendum on library expansion next door.

At Monday night’s Poynette Village Board meeting, trustees briefly discussed new information on architectural studies of the village-owned “Little Blessings” building that provided options ranging from around $200,000 for a more basic renovation to around $750,000 for an extensive one. The issue will be put on the next village board agenda for discussion.

Discussion moving along

Trustee Doug Avery, who serves as the village board’s liaison to the Poynette Area Public Library Board, said he was among a few trustees who went to a recent library board meeting to reaffirm the village board’s intent that “we are interested in looking at different versions of what the library can give us.” He said he would like to look at all the cost options the new report provides.

“It’s good information, it doesn’t lead to any conclusions; they did a good job,” Avery said. “It’s always been in the interest of the downtown redevelopment (committee) and this (village) board and all the different plans we’ve ever had, for the library to expand – however it may be – in the next lot over, which is ‘Little Blessings.’ It’s always come down to, ‘In which way shall Little Blessings be utilized?’”

Saying the question of the village owning or not owning the library was “multi-faceted,” he said he believed the village should continue to own the library. Avery said he would like to continue to talk with members of the Poynette Area Public Library Board and Friends of the Poynette Area Public Library about expansion priorities and possibilities.

“I am in no way trying to intercede or undercut the downtown redevelopment committee,” he said. “All I’m trying to do … is keep communications open; to keep this going. Because they do need the room, and if we can come up with some idea that even the village board would like, or the downtown redevelopment committee, it would be worth every coffee and doughnut spent.”

Ross bids farewell

Monday night being the final board meeting of the year, it was long-time trustee and one-time president Andy Ross’ final meeting as a member of the Poynette Village Board. Ross, who resigned his seat earlier this month, effective Jan. 1, was honored by his fellow trustees with a commemorative plaque and hearty applause.

“I appreciate it very much,” he said. “It’s been interesting; it’s been fun … we’ve had discussions amongst each other, but that’s what the process is all about. This, as a balance, is one of the best boards I’ve ever seen here.”

Ross singled out praise for trustee Henry DeBoer – by far the youngest member of the board in his 20s – as an example of what Poynette needs more of in its village government.

“I appreciate someone like Henry coming in; a young person getting involved,” Ross said. “We need as much of that as we can get. And I know it’s difficult for a young person, but kudos to you for that.”

Extra precaution

Things were temporarily unplugged overnight at the Poynette Area Public Library after staff detected a “noxious, burning plastic odor” and contacted the fire department, said library director Kris Daugherty.

“My concern was that in the drop ceiling, with all the wires and everything, that there might be something really burning up there,” she said. “Better safe than sorry.”

Village President Jerry Burke said the village would see to it the library would be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors from now on.

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