County OKs purchase of lot for library

$3.5 million complex to house local branch, system headquarters

Land bought for $412,500


May 19, 2004|By Hanah Cho | Hanah Cho,SUN STAFF

After more than five years of discussion and planning, the Carroll County commissioners approved yesterday the purchase of land in Finksburg for a library branch and a headquarters for the system.

County officials will now begin designing the $3.5 million project, to be built on a 10.7-acre lot near Old Westminster Pike and Green Mill Road, said Ralph Green, director of the county's Department of General Services.

The county agreed to pay $412,500 for the land, which is on the vacant Vogt's Auto Parts property. The site has met environmental requirements and other conditions, such as adequate water supply and suitability for a septic system, Green said.

Once completed late next year or early in 2006, the complex would give Finksburg a 10,000- square-foot library within a 14,500-square-foot headquarters. The new branch would become the sixth in the county library system and the first in Finksburg.

"I think it'll be a good addition," Commissioner Julia Walsh Gouge said.

Added library director Linda Mielke: "The library board is pleased that the commissioners settled on the purchase of the Vogt property. It's a functional site for a library and will well serve the citizens of Finksburg."

Library officials lease office space near Carroll County Regional Airport, where rent and utilities cost more than $187,000 a year. The 10-year lease at the Airport Drive site expired last year, and the county renegotiated a year-to-year lease.

For years, residents in Finksburg, which is unincorporated, have lobbied the county for a library branch. Residents travel to branches in Westminster or Eldersburg.

`Great news'

"First of all, I would like to take a moment for a drink to celebrate," said John Lopez, president of the Finksburg Planning Area Council. "It's great news. We've been waiting for this for a long, long time."

The new branch, Lopez said, will become a community center, and its proximity to Sandymount Elementary School means pupils will be able to walk to the library.

West Nile threat

In other business yesterday, the commissioners heard plans for controlling the West Nile virus this summer.

In an effort to reduce the number of adult mosquitoes, county officials will begin monitoring and placing larvicide in 80 storm water management ponds, Green told the commissioners.

The larvicide, which does not harm fish or mammals, prevents mosquitoes from becoming breeding adults, Green said. The county is paying about $1,200 for the larvicide, which is effective for 150 days.

Mosquito control

"If we could control the mosquitoes from becoming adults, that reduces male mosquitoes and reduces the chances of West Nile," Green said.

The virus is carried by birds and transmitted by mosquitoes to horses and people.

Surveillance program

In addition, the county has signed up for the state Department of Agriculture's mosquito surveillance program, which could include trapping adult mosquitoes or spraying.

Meanwhile, the county Health Department has begun distributing fliers containing tips to guard against mosquitoes.

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