MAGNOLIA SPRINGS - After further deliberation on a future town hall and library complex, Magnolia Springs council has decided to form an ad-hoc committee dedicated to gathering information on what …
MAGNOLIA SPRINGS - After further deliberation on a future town hall and library complex, Magnolia Springs council has decided to form an ad-hoc committee dedicated to gathering information on what the town would most like to see done.
“We basically have three options,” said Mayor Kim Koniar. “We were all gung-ho to purchase the property on Magnolia Springs Highway until during due diligence we determined it wouldn’t work out. So, we can either stay here and pay rent here and pay rent at the library, we can build on the school property across the street, or we can purchase the property beside the arboretum and build on it.”
Currently, the town is renting from the Community Association on their town hall building, with rates expected to increase over time. The town owns the schoolyard property, which is located across the street from the current town hall, directly in front of the Volunteer Fire Department. During a town meeting in June, many citizens expressed a desire to see the schoolyard property remain a greenspace, though arguments have been made that even with a new town complex there would be ample room left over. The property abutting the town arboretum is being sold for $125,000 firm, and after discussions Koniar says the landowners will not lower the price.
Councilmember Ben Dykema brought a fourth option to the table - do nothing for the time being. He suggested holding off on purchasing or building anything until that time when the council was absolutely sure what move they wanted to make next. Koniar agreed they shouldn’t rush into anything, but stated the current town hall is too small to hold the number of citizens who wish to attend meetings and that the town clerk doesn’t have enough room to work.
Councilmember Andrew Monaghan voiced his desire to pursue options, but to first gather information on the best course of action. “I think we need to look at the comprehensive plan,” he said. “We discussed possible grants to further look at the comprehensive plan. Maybe we could do some surveys to get an idea what exactly we need as far as a town hall and a library, see what people are expecting of us, and what the best use of our money would be. We need to see if the citizens are okay with us continuing to rent this property, building on the schoolyard property, or if land acquisition is a good idea. I’m all for taking it slow and doing studies on what we really want for a town hall.”
The lease for the current town hall doesn’t run out until April, 2021, giving council an opportunity to plan. At previous meetings, forming a committee that would focus on just the schoolyard and what could be done on the site was discussed: the town is now looking to form a committee that will tackle the future of the town hall and library. The committee will be made up of three councilmembers and seven to nine citizens who are interested in gathering information on where people would like to see a new city center, or if they’d like to see the location change at all.
The committee, once formed, will begin talking to the citizens about what they’d like to see done, potentially organizing a second town meeting concerning the properties, and putting together a survey to be sent out via the town’s Enewsletter. More information on the survey will be announced after the first of the year.
To keep up with Magnolia Springs and the future survey, check out the town’s website at www.townofmagnoliasprings.org.