Work still needed on Gary’s main library

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WORK STILL NEEDS to be done on Gary’s main library downtown, which has been closed for several years while renovations were made on the building. (Photo by Erick Johnson)

By Louise Scott, Gary Crusader

The reopening of the Main Branch of the Gary Public Library is still waiting for approval from the Gary Redevelopment Commission.

Officials are waiting for workers to connect the library to the main line providing water throughout the city.

Robert Buggs, library board member said as of the board’s last meeting they have not received any official notification from Redevelopment. He said, “Once we get the letter from them we then can tie into American Water’s system. It will probably take 30 days for us to tie into their water main.”

In order to establish the water connection, lines have to be set up underground across the street from the library from 308-318 W. Fifth Ave. — those are properties controlled by the Redevelopment Commission.

According to Buggs another issue the opening of the library has is obtaining staff for the main branch. He said, “I made a motion to close two libraries because we will need additional staff to open the main branch. My suggestion was to close the DuBose Branch and the Brunswick Branch because those two are the least used. The employees at those two branches will not lose their jobs, just move to the main library.”

With only four of the seven board members present at the meeting Boggs’s motion did not pass. Board members present at the meeting were Buggs, Tyrell Anderson, Odis Richardson and Paula Nalls. Those absent were Mary Ann Reedus, Sadie Sheffield and Mary Felton. The two board members who voted in favor of the closing were Buggs and Anderson.

Buggs said the two members who voted against the closing did not give a reason why they were not in favor of the closing. He said, “They didn’t give a reason, they are just trying to appease the mayor. I don’t know why they are so beholding to the mayor. That’s OK, I’m going to keep making a motion in favor of closing those two libraries at every board meeting.”

The main library building has been closed since December 2011 when it was shut down to cut costs.

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