Mendon plans to build own library, city administration building

Mendon residents wanting to use a public library will no longer have to travel to a neighboring city to find one, like so many other Cache County residents must do, as of the year 2016.Of the 19 incorporated cities and towns of Cache County, 12 do not have their own library. People who want to use a library either must travel to a neighboring city, like Providence where the county library is located, or wait for the

<a href=”http://bookmobiles.utah.gov/cache/index.html”>Cache County Bookmobile</a>

service to come to their town.This would have changed if a countywide library system had been approved by voters during the last November election, but approval of the system failed by 52 percent. If the system had passed, Cache County libraries could have chosen to become a member branch library, and residents could have returned materials to any participating site.Also, if the initiative had passed, county residents would pay a tax close to what Logan and North Logan already do, about $82 per year on a home with a market value of $193,000 – the county average.Feeling the need for a library close to home, Mendon is taking matters into its own hands. By 2016, Mendon will have built a city administration building complete with a library section. Mendon Mayor Ed Buist proposed the city administration building in March, which the council approved unanimously.Mendon is the only incorporated town in Cache County not to have a designated city administration building, and it is badly needed, Buist said.”The need for city offices to store things the city has accumulated over the years, as well as a place for offices, is priority. We use a part of the fire station for offices currently and it is very small and inconvenient. After all, a fire department is a fire department,” Buist said.Currently, town council meetings take place at the Mendon Station, a remodeled train depot located at 95 N. Main Street in Mendon. The station is often rented out to groups for dance classes or event receptions. Storage and office space are limited and ineffective, Buist said.The proposed building will cost around $300,000 in total. Buist said $100,000 is now being allocated from the capital projects budget to go toward the building, and the city will try to meet the rest of the cost through fundraising and donations.”I hope we don’t to have to do a levy. We will see what we can do to get there without it. It will take some time and patience because it will take a few years to get funds,” Buist said.Mendon had the Mendon Cottage Library for several years until it closed July 24, 2010, due to a lack of finances. The library was housed in a small cottage across the street from the Mendon Station and was rented by the city. Rent was not even covered by the 3-year $6,000 budget committed by the previous mayor. After the third year was up, there were not sufficient funds to continue, Buist said.”We asked, ‘Would the money be better going towards a library of the future?’” Buist said. “And we decided yes.”Win Gardener was a former librarian at the Mendon Cottage Library, and said she understood it had to close, even though it was very hard to close the doors.”We decided it was best to put the inventory in storage and save up for a city-owned library. I am supporting this new library effort in Mendon, and I think the community would possibly be in favor of a levy so we can have one,” Gardener said.Currently, there are seven libraries in Cache County: Hyrum, Lewiston, Logan, North Logan, Richmond, Smithfield, Newton and Providence (the county library). Unincorporated areas of Cache County – like Petersboro and Benson – can use the

<a href=”http://www.cachecounty.org/library/”>Cache County Library</a>

.Some of these libraries will allow any county resident to use their services, some for free – like Newton – and others for a fee – like Logan. Some cities without a library have a deal with another city’s library so residents have a closer option than the county library in Providence.For example, Hyrum Library is free of charge to residents of Nibley. Check the chart

<a href=”http://podcast.cachevalleydaily.com/cache_county_library_services.pdf”>”Cities, towns and areas of Cache County 2011″</a>

to see which libraries are available to cities of the county.While Mendon has a library plan in the works, other towns are just getting by. Cornish is one town that will not be taking up a library initiative anytime soon, Mayor Joseph Hansen said.”We have water problems that take up all of our time and resources, so until we get that fixed, we won’t do hardly anything,” Hansen said.Having a city building was a priority for the town, however. The Cornish city building is a composite of old portable classrooms put on a basement that the school district was going to get rid of, Hansen said. Building a library is not feasible, he said, because there are only 281 residents to pay for it.Clair Christiansen, mayor of Newton, said the town took an old school building and made it into a town building, municipal court, fire station and library.”Our library is first class and very amazing. It has lots of patrons and is busy much of the day,” Christiansen said.Mendon hopes to also have a first-class library with architecture to match the rest of Mendon. The planned building will consist of around 3,000 square feet and will be built where the basketball court is now, on the southeast corner of the Mendon Square. This way the city will not have to pay to acquire land. The property is centrally located and streets can be used for parking, Buist said. The basketball court will be replaced west of Mountainside Elementary School.Buist said, “We want it built as such so that in a few years we can add on to it and it not look like an addition. We are looking for something that will match Mendon architecture, not a square building with siding.”Bruce Woolery, a Mendon resident, said, “I feel a library in a hometown setting is very, very important in conjunction with having a city building. I am so appreciative the council is doing this.”- storee.cvd@gmail.com

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!