Bremen Public Library reno project Dec 2020Members of the Marshall County Council tabled a decision on a bond issue for the construction project of the Bremen Public Library during their meeting Monday morning.  The County Council must give their approval to the bond issue since the members of the Bremen Library Board are not elected officials.

Chris Scandling, Executive Director of the library discussed the project with the council while their financial advisor and legal counsel tried to determine if a public hearing was required or just have the bonding issue discussed at a public meeting.

Scandling said the $3.2 million project would renovate the existing library, construct an addition to the library building and reconfigure the parking lot.  He told the County Council that the project actually started about two-and-a-half years ago. Scandling said they held a public meeting at the kick-off in July 2018 and again last month via in-person or online.  He said they also posted the meeting on social media and it had 463 views.

Chris Scandling said their goal with the project is to create a destination place.  He said libraries are used differently now and people not only use the library for books but for programs.

The affect on the tax rate is estimated to be $.04 per $100 of assessed valuation.  The example they used was a 100 acre farm would pay an additional $50.56.

Some of the County Council members have been contacted by Bremen citizens with concern on the cost of the project.  Some also said they hadn’t seen notice of any public hearings on the project.

When the Culver Library underwent a bond issue for their project they conducted a public hearing during the County Council meeting prior to the council voting on the bond issue.

After speaking with bond council, Todd Samuelson said clarification from Ice Miller was that the bond issuance process could be done without a public hearing.

Council member Jon VanVactor said he wanted to stay with the precedent they have already used by conducting a public hearing on a bond issuance.  He motioned to table any action until the January meeting of the County Council so the public hearing on the bond issuance can be advertised.  All members agreed with the motion.