Library lease extended for two years

REED CITY – The Reed City Public Library will stay in its current location for two years despite efforts to move to a new location this summer.

County Commissioners voted Tuesday to extend the lease in the county-owned annex building after a request from library Director Heather Symon.

“The library is in a position where we are not going to be able to move out by the end of the lease (June 30),”  Symon said.

The building purchased as the library’s new home on Chestnut Street next to the State Police Post needs significant renovation to accommodate the library’s needs. The building will not be ready in time for the move due to lack of funding for the renovation.

Local contractors gave informal estimates for the renovation of the building, the lowest being $700,000, Symon said.

Fall fundraisers such as the Jingle Bell Walk-a-thon, Wine tasting night and Fall Fiesta dinner raised $36,000 for the move, but the library will continue to seek help from the community to raise the additional $664,000.

Ellen Finkbeiner, a staff member at Reed City Hospital’s long term care, participated in the Jingle Bell Walk-a-thon and logged more than 40 laps.

“I had to make them proud since they donated money for me.” Finkbeiner said. “It’s a great cause.”

The library also will sponsor a “Touch a Truck” fundraiser on June 9 at the Reed City Middle School parking lot as well as a celebrity server at Nestle Inn. Citizens also can make donations to the library at anytime by calling the library at 832-2131 or stopping by.

A donor recognition wall will be placed in the new building to acknowledge such donations. The display will look like a bookshelf, with a wooden plaque resembling the spine of book engraved for each donor.

Three sizes of plaques will be available; 8-inch for a donation of $100, 10-inch for $150 and 12-inch for $200.

Though extending the lease was not in the plan for the library, Symon said the county was very understanding.

“The county support was just fantastic and we really appreciate it,” Symon said.

Follow the progress of the New Library Project on the RCPL’s website,