First library board meeting with new members

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SALYERSVILLE - The Magoffin County Public Library Board met in regular session on Tuesday, the first time since three of the four members were appointed last month.

David May, Lana Blanton and Brent Patrick were in attendance at the December 15 meeting, with Barbara Patrick absent. The three agreed to change the regular meeting time to the second Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. at the Magoffin County Public Library. 

While the majority of the meeting involved with catching up the new members with what the board owns, owes on and discussing current contracts, they did unanimously decide to advertise for applications for the open board member position. They will accept applications until their next regularly-scheduled meeting, slated for January 12 at 6 p.m. 

Magoffin County Library Director Melanie Cain told the board that she will have their pending contracts available for the board members before the next meeting so they can go over the language and decide what their next steps should be, referring to the Codell Construction and Murphy+Graves+Trimble design firm, as well as any other liabilities the board may currently have. 

May noted that he did not want to take any further action until the fifth board member is appointed, though he said that the board may want to start considering light maintenance on the former Salyersville First Baptist Church in order to prevent further damage to the building. Furthermore, he urged the public to contact their legislators about finding funding to restore the old church building, and said he thinks a Section 106 Review needs to be done through the Kentucky Heritage Council in order to not jeopardize potential federal funding for the project.

Brent Patrick mentioned that he believed they needed to get all properties owned by the library appraised before moving further, though no action was taken.

When asked for his stance on any potential trades with the City, Salyersville Mayor James “Pete” Shepherd said he cannot speak for the city council, but he is not interested in trading the lot across from City Hall for the former Salyersville First Baptist Church property, stating that the City does not have the money to restore the property. He said he does believe the Council would be interested in selling the property across from City Hall for the amount the City owes on it, which is currently $248,000. 

Blanton asked for more information about the library, regarding how many people use library services and what the reasoning has been for building a new library. She asked about if any empty buildings in town could be leased or rented for the library’s purposes, possibly providing a new library without construction costs. 

“Ideally I would like to see, if the county or city can’t use it, another church come in there,” Blanton said.

Mayor Shepherd told the board, “Really, it’s just about how much of a loss are you willing to take. You’ve paid $450,000 in coal severance, but it’s been forgiven, so it really just boils down to that.”

Tim Gampp with the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives explained to the board that if they decide to sell either property, they will have to have appraisals done, however, they can transfer their properties with other government agencies without having appraisals. 

The Magoffin County Public Library Board is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, January 12 at 6 p.m. at the library.