After a seven-year struggle, Long Point peninsula residents may finally be getting a new library.
County Executive Robert R. Neall hasappointed a group to study the options for building a library at Long Point by 1993. The panel, consisting of four citizens, two county officials and a member of the library system's board of trustees, willhave until next June to recommend the site and type of structure.
"We'll be having our first meeting in November in the hope that we can give the county executive our priorities to work with by February," said group chairman Greg Nourse. Nourse, who is a budget analystfor the county, said state budget cuts "should not effect this project" unless the the study group decides the project should be more elaborate than originally conceived.
"I don't think we want to build something that will only serve for one or two years. What we recommend will depend on what planning and zoning and the library board believe is necessary," Nourse said. Committee member Jean Tate, who has been lobbying for a library on the peninsula since 1984, was relieved that the project seems to finally be making headway.
"It's action at last. Just the fact that we're going forward on it is wonderful," Tate said. Tate and other members of the Chesapeake Women's Club helped gather 4,500 signatures in favor a library on the south-east end ofMountain Road, where residents complain that they have to travel between 10 and 20 miles to reach the Riviera Beach or Severna Park library branches.
Responding to the petition, the County Council originally planned to put the library in a storefront at the Long Point Mall this year.
But the inadequate plumbing, leaking roof and crumbling parking lot at the mall removed it from consideration. The mall's condition -- combined with the county library system's budget freeze -- delayed the project until 1993.
A leading option is to place a prefabricated "porta-structure" on a vacant lot. The building, ranging in size from 1,600 to 4,200 square feet, could house at least 14,000 books, library officials said.
Sites that have been mentioned include part of Chesapeake Senior High School's property, the Long Point Mall property and the future site of the Lake Shore athletic complex at the intersection of Route 100 and Mountain Road.
Councilman Carl "Dutch" Holland, R-Pasadena, has also expressed interest in building a combined library and senior center like the $1.7 million, 15,690-square-foot facility the county opened two months ago in Edgewater.