Library board OKs new branch

$1.7 million approved for sixth Carroll site

June 24, 1999|By Melody Simmons | Melody Simmons,SUN STAFF

Within five years, Finksburg residents may be able to check out books, videos and tapes without having to commute nearly 30 minutes to Westminster or Eldersburg under a plan presented to the Carroll County public library board of trustees last night.

The board approved a request for $1.7 million to install a library branch in Finksburg, which would become the sixth in the state's busiest library system.

The board's request will be considered by county officials in the fall.

"It's a great asset to Finksburg and all of Carroll County," said Laura O'Callaghan, a member of the Finksburg Planning Area Council who has lobbied for the branch for years. "We're trying to make Finksburg grow in a sensible way. Finksburg doesn't have any place where people can meet, except for the churches."

Earlier this year, O'Callaghan appealed to the County Commission for the branch, saying the distance to existing libraries has discouraged many Finksburg residents.

The library system has locations in Westminster, Eldersburg, North Carroll, Taneytown and Mount Airy, said library director Linda Meilke. A bookmobile travels throughout the county.

The Finksburg branch was proposed as part of the system's five-year capital budget proposal, debated by the board last night. Also considered was a $677,560 expansion of the Eldersburg branch and a new library headquarters to cost about $2.2 million for a site in downtown Westminster.

The Finksburg branch is expected to cost about $125,000 per year to operate -- excluding costs of the building itself or the books and computers needed to stock it, officials say.

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