Library expansion

Our public library has concluded a one year, nearly 3M dollar expansion. It adds 7500 square feet to the library. It adds classrooms, a geneaology research center, light, and bathrooms. It is gorgeous.

The library has been open all the while the expansion has been going on, and as I’ve swapped out library books every two weeks I looked at the addition’s progress. But today was the ribbon cutting and official opening. I decided to go, but first to quickly hustle on down to the Comer Farmer’s Market first and buy a couple of plants for my container garden I will set up on Monday.

Comer Farmer’s Market picture

After that I though I’d mosey down to the library to take part in the ribbon cutting. I deliberately skipped the speeches and got there at about 10:40 just as they were finished. I walked all through the library and I have to say it is gorgeous.

The picture is a bookmark given out at the ceremony. All the facts of the expansion are on the back of the bookmark. I was busting with pride. I am so thankful that our county has men and women running it who plan ahead, and prepare for facilities upgrades like this. One of the Librarians at the ribbon cutting told me later that they said in the speech that we are just about the only county to have had a surplus. That is quite something in this economy. The expansion was paid for by a 1.5M grant from the State of Georgia, and $600,000 in SPLOST money. Wikipedia explains SPLOST better than I could:

“In the U.S. state of Georgia, a special-purpose local-option sales tax (SPLOST) can be levied by any county, for the purpose of funding the building and maintenance of parks, schools, roads, and other public facilities. Georgia’s state sales tax is currently 4% (groceries and prescription drugs exempted), with the counties allowed to add up to 2% more for SPLOST. A SPLOST is passed by a county commission, usually with the agreement of its city councils, and voted up or down by residents in a referendum, usually during the next scheduled election. A SPLOST only lasts five years…”

I like that SPLOST is limited in duration, fiscally dedicated to a particular plan, and is enacted by all the governing bodies, including the People.

The rest of the money was from grants, Athens Regional Library system, Friends of the Library, the Library Trustees and the estate of respected Jere Ayers. Way to go Madison County! I’m proud of you!

It was a peaceful drive. I go up Route 98 without turning, about 8 miles. Along the way I pass this:

And when I come home I see this:

The tiger lilies are fading now but even as they fade the bush looks like it’s aflame. So pretty. All in all a great Saturday morning.

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