BCDM Architects of Omaha, Neb., donated the work for this prelimary site drawing of a potential expansion of the existing Carroll Public Library.
BCDM Architects of Omaha, Neb., donated the work for this prelimary site drawing of a potential expansion of the existing Carroll Public Library.
April 18, 2013

Carroll Mayor Adam Schweers presented the rough outlines of an estimated $5.6 million expansion of the Carroll Public Library in early January.

Speaking with members of the Carroll Library Board of Trustees and Carroll Library Foundation Schweers said he had hoped to take the plan public by the end of January.

"This is, like I said, very conceptual," Schweers said to a non-quorum gathering of selected trustees and foundation members in an informal meeting.

The Carroll City Council and Library Board of Trustees have not taken any official action on an expansion plan. The city budget contains $20,000 to study the library project.

"The Library Board of Trustees is waiting for a feasibility study to be done evaluating the cost and suitability of the property for construction," said Carroll Public Library director Kelly Fischbach this morning. "There's no doubt we need more space and adequate parking. The City Council has said this is their project and the Library Board of Trustees is waiting for the council to move forward."

Schweers said he wanted to see a referendum in August on an expansion of the library east from the Farner Government Building. The plan the mayor talked about in January was to take to City of Carroll voters a referendum authorizing the issuance of $3.8 million in bonds with a goal of $1.8 million to $2 million in private fundraising.

The plan would expand the library from about 10,200 square feet to 21,000 square feet.

"There's no question that we need something done differently with our library," Schweers said in the January meeting.

Schweers said he has worked closely with Carroll attorney Greg Siemann and businessmen/developers Dr. Richard Collison and Matt Greteman on improving library services. Schweers said the expansion concept is their shared vision.

"Those three have been the most help," Schweers said.

Siemann, Collison and Greteman are founding members of the Carroll Library Expansion Committee, an organization Siemann said is described by its name.

Siemann said Friday the organization expects to make a presentation to the Carroll City Council on a possible expansion of the library, but he did not reveal any financial figures associated with a plan. Siemann did confirm that the Carroll Library Expansion Committee is negotiating with the Moose Lodge for the release of its property, 200 E. Fifth St. He declined to comment on any other privately held property that may be involved in a library expansion.

BCDM Architects of Omaha, Neb., volunteered the work for the preliminary site concept for the expansion, Schweers said.

Carroll voters in August 2011 overwhelming turned down a financing referendum for a planned new 32,000-square-foot, $7.4 million library at the former Heider Manufacturing property south of the Union Pacific Railroad lines and west of Main Street, effectively sending back to elected officials and library volunteers a decision on whether to build a new public lending facility, add on to the current one or do nothing at all.

The referendum that would have allowed the city to issue up to $6 million in general-obligation bonds failed with 22 percent, or 643 voters in support, and 78 percent or 2,282 people casting ballots against the public measure. The referendum required a super-majority of 60 percent for passage.