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Carthage voters set to decide fate of new library

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Carthage Public Library is currently in an old building that used to be a bank.
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Outdoor designs for the new library if the ballot measure is approved.
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Indoor layout of the potential new library.

CARTHAGE, Ill (WGEM) -- Property owners in the Carthage Elementary School District will vote on a measure toward a new library on Tuesday.

The vote will be on whether to allow or deny the library district to use a 1.2 million dollar bond to help build a new library.

The proposal would increase tax rates by a little over nine cents per hundred dollars of assessed value. The bond is expected to be paid off within nineteen years.

Staff at the library say the change is necessary because of the condition of the current building. The library is in an old bank building. If they were to renovate to modern standards, they would have to rebuild a new elevator shaft to make it ADA friendly.

They would need to add an additional stairway to the second floor. They would also have to remodel the second floor to expand the room sizes. According to library staff, an architect gave an estimate that it would cost about the same or even more to renovate the old building versus building a new one.

If the measure is approved, the new library would be built on donated land at First and Center Streets.

The library would work with a local real estate agent to find a buyer to preserve the old bank building. If the measure fails, the library will continue to operate in the current facility.

For more information on the proposal and detailed impacts on the tax increase, click here.

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Logan Williams

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