LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Looking to the future
Perhaps you visit the Elk Rapids District Library frequently or on occasion, perhaps you haven’t been in the Elk Rapids District Library in a very long time or perhaps you have never experienced the Elk Rapids District Library and all the wonderful opportunities that it offers.
It is with an eye to the past, while embracing history and looking to the future that the Elk Rapids District Library Board pursues the expansion of this wonderful historical building that services the citizens and visitors of all ages of the Elk Rapids area and surrounding communities – this is the Elk Rapids District Library!
A historical building needs to service the community and what better way than as a library. I ask you “who would it hurt”? The history of the building will live on forever and memories made there will remain. An expansion will look to the future offering new opportunities and new memories for future generations.
I urge support of the expansion of the Elk Rapids District Library offering the community members and our surrounding neighbors and visitors to our beautiful village a library that looks to the future while honoring the past.
Thank you to James Janisse for using the correct phrase “...expansion of the Island House.” The usual discussion uses the phrase “library expansion” or “proposed addition to the library,” either of which is misleading. A dictionary definition of library: a building or room containing a collection of books and periodicals. Now the blueprints depict a smaller percentage allotted to books than to a social center of sorts. Methinks an unneeded social center. Certainly an unproven need. A want, yes; a need, no.
The library is rarely crowded. In six years of significant use, I have only had to wait for a computer once. And I have never had difficulty getting to a shelved book. There are many empty shelves as I type this.
Keep focus. Do not be distracted by the thrown bones of restoring historical elements, or how many trees will be chopped, or retaining the historic designation of Island House, or costs. Focus.
Honor the past while moving into the future
On October 23 at 6:00 p.m., the Village Council will hold a special meeting regarding the proposed addition to the library.
While owned by the Village, all property owners in the Village, Elk Rapids Township and Milton Township support the library’s operation through a millage “in perpetuity.” This millage will not increase as a result of the proposed expansion. There will be no cost to the Village or Elk Rapids or Milton Townships for construction, as the project will be privately funded.
The proposed addition and present building together will affect the island minimally, using slightly less than 4% of the site in line with the Village Master Plan. Only one tree will be removed; a second will be relocated. There is no plan for additional parking. The steps on the south side will remain as will the sledding hill.
There will be restoration of original features, including the parlor, conservatory and a fireplace. The porch, expanded and enclosed in 1998, will remain the same. The architects worked closely with the State Historic Preservation Office to retain the library’s historic designation.
Please come and be heard. The expanded library can honor the past while moving into the future.
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