Archive for Wednesday, July 9, 2003

Basehor library board plans on setting bond issue vote

July 9, 2003

By this fall, it's likely the Basehor Community Library board of directors will set a date to ask voters to approve a bond issue for construction of a new library.

More than a year ago, a Basehor man donated three acres of land for a new building.

Currently, the library's collection of 18,000 books is housed in a rented 4,000-square-foot building. The new library will be constructed on 158th Street, just north of U.S. Highway 24-40, on land donated by Ray Breuer.

For months, the board and staff members have worked on determining what they would like in a new library. Now, they must decide what they think library patrons will be willing to approve.

"We're working on a time line and by the first part of September, that's when pretty much everything should be happening," said Carla Kaiser, who has been library director since it opened in 1985.

At the Sept. 10 board meeting, Kaiser expects the board to approve a date for the special bond issue election, as well as the amount of bond the seven-member board will ask voters to approve.

Early discussion centered on a library of about 22,000 square feet.

"That's still in the works," Kaiser said. "And that will change. That's not a final number. Right now, we're still in the stage of 'If we could have everything we wanted in it, what would it be.' We really are in the midst of it."

For construction of a new library to move ahead, it must receive approval from library patrons who live in an area bounded generally by Leavenworth County Road 8 on the north, Kansas Highway 7 on the east, Kansas Highway 32 on the south and 183rd Street on the west.

Once a bond issue is approved, further planning and construction will take time.

"I think two to two and a half years," Kaiser said. "I like to think two years."

The library has kicked off a new fund-raiser that will augment money approved in a bond issue. Under the fund-raising plan, donors pledge money for every home game home run scored by the Kansas City T-Bones baseball team. A sign at 155th Street and U.S. Highway 24-40 tracks the number of home runs and dollars raised.

"That's going to stay up through August," Kaiser said. "That will hopefully create some excitement and create some awareness that there is going to be a new library."

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