Published on Thursday, December 05 2013 14:34
Dear Citizens of the Greater Lyons Library District,
In a letter to the Editor that appeared in a recent issue of the Lyons Recorder, Mark Browning wrote, “If we’re going to continue debating a possible new library/resource center let’s get some facts straight.”
I think such public debate serves the public interest. I only wish we could have had an open debate before the election. The flood closed that window of opportunity and thus, Mr. Browning and I believe it important to carry on this debate now. While Letters to the Editor might not be the best format, it is what we have chosen to employ. I hope that readers will gain insight in our discourses.
First of all let it be known there are several points and issues that Browning and I agree on. These include:
• No decision has been made to build a 4600 to 7000 square foot building, plus parking lots on Sandstone Park at a cost that might be $3,500,000. This can’t be done if people don’t approve a tax hike, and we voted no to the tax hike.
• We also agree the $3,000,000 to $4,000,000 construction bill for the Lyons Library Steering Committee’s ultimate goal is my number. And I don’t quarrel with Browning’s assertion that new libraries in similar districts have cost less. Browning’s figure (Lyons Recorder letter to the editor August 29, 2013) for the building is $2,500,000 to $3,500,000. What I thought reasonable to conclude was the larger size building would have the bigger dollar amount. And since Browning wrote: “Our library expert thought 6,900 square feet would be optimal,” I based my calculations on the greater amount. So if the Lyons area voters are persuaded by Browning to build the “optimal” size building, my $3,000,000 figure is likely too low and my $4,000,000 figure may or may not be high.
• We also agree my operating expense of $350,000 should not have been labeled operating expense. However, if you take Browning’s $270,000 operating expense figure, which doesn’t include inflation or interest expense, and add inflation and interest, you get my number. To Browning’s figure of $270,000 add 2% wage and price inflation of $5,400. Now take a loan size of just the bottom of Browning’s range and multiply it by the interest rate of 3%, which he wrote was available. The loan amount $2,500,000 X 3% interest = $75,000. So $270,000 (Browning’s number) + $5,400 (1 year of inflation) + $75000 (one year of interest expense) = $350,400 (my number.) Of course inflation doesn’t occur in just one year, so my number and Browning’s number will both likely turn out lower than what the reality would cost us if we went ahead with his ambition.
In a letter written by Annie Mannering and myself preceding two ballot issues related to the Library District and a library district tax we wrote, “So hold on a minute please.” We wrote this because it appeared to us that the Lyons Library Steering Committee, which Browning chaired, was headed towards the most expensive way to enhance library services. Furthermore, their ambitions for a new structure we found inconsistent with “Our Guiding Principles” as written in the Lyons Comprehensive Plan dated March 10, 2010. We believe there is a better way to enhance library services.
In the November 21, 2013 “Lyons Recorder” I wrote a letter to the Editor quoting those guiding principles applicable to enhancement of library and cultural facilities. Those applicable guidelines are: “historic preservation, transition to a localized economy that promotes job growth, attracts Front Range day trip tourists to support the local economy and provides cost effective management of Town owned assets.” Given these “Guidelines” now consider the “Conclusion” of Roger M. Thorp, President of Thorp Associates, P.C. Architects and Planners who looked at and evaluated potential library facilities in the community.
In a report entitled: Lyons Area Library and Community Resource Center, Architectural Feasibility Study, Phase II Evaluation of Existing Alternative Facilities, May 3 2013, Thorp wrote: “…the present Lyons Depot Library site comes out on top….” “Certainly the community is going to want to save the building as a historic icon, and so a reasonable effort should be made to look at the possibility of adding on and restoring the existing building at its location, being in a park-like setting that is very close to downtown, could be a catalyst for additional downtown revitalization and development.”
Also consider the following from a 2008 survey forwarded to members of the Library Steering Committee by Carol Devenir. In answer to: “What do you like about the Lyons Depot Library?
“Size, staff. It’s a unique Library. I like Merlyn. Quaint, real, small time feel. Cute building. Smallness. I’m very happy with “my” library as it is. Friendly staff, cozy, comfortable atmosphere. Small town feel. Building rocks! LDL is fabulous.”
And very consistent with “Our Guiding Principles was a response to the next survey question:
“If the Library were larger what would you like to see in the expanded library?
“I think that the Library should be granted the use of an old train car or caboose to put nearby for the kids to do their little children’s programs.”
When I look at the results of this survey and the “laundry list” of peoples expressed wants, it is reasonable to conclude that most of the additional library services desired could be accomplished with a small architecturally-appropriate addition to the existing Depot Library as Thorpe suggested. However, to attract Front Range day trip tourists to support the local economy and provide cost effective management of Town owned assets as is called for in “Our Guiding Principles” the “use of an old train car or caboose” could also be very beneficial. After all, it is the Depot Library, at the end of Railroad Avenue with a nearby loading platform, and a historic train luggage cart in a park-like setting. For children’s programs, a caboose would be an attraction for youngsters. Adding a Pullman car would also be a draw. One side of a Pullman car could be made very comfortable for staff relaxation and for scheduled meetings, while the other side could house computer workstations. A properly laid out library/resource center in a mock train station-setting would, I think, help attract Front Range day trip tourists to support the local economy. Expanding the Depot Library into a “Rail Station Library/Cultural Resource Center,” rather than depriving the Depot of purpose is effective cost management of Town owned assets. Enhancing historic buildings’ purposes is a tool of preservation.
As for other “Laundry List” items that could bring revenue into the Town and support local job growth, there is the potential to include activities such as evening programs, lectures, performing arts, fine art displays and Town history exhibits in Lyon’s historic buildings. Isn’t it time to consider renovating the 1881 Redstone Museum on High Street, which might accommodate many of these purposes and help us realize more of our “Our Guiding Principles?”
Former Trustee Town of Lyons
Published on Thursday, December 05 2013 14:28
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Published on Thursday, December 05 2013 09:04
By Renée Haip
The boys of Lyons Cross Country aimed high this year. Not only did they win both their Regional and State meets with a perfect score, their performance at state was so strong through all five runners that they earned a coveted team spot in the championship race at Nike Cross Southwest Regional in Mesa, Arizona on Saturday, November 23. Given the run seven, score five format at Nike