Study approved for former library
After much discussion, the Washington City Council approved with a 4-2 vote hiring Klinger and Associates to do a study on the former Washington Public Library building to determine what use it could have in the future.
During the meeting councilman Bob Shellmeyer objected to hiring the group to do a study without bidding. City administrator Brent Hinson said that he had opted to use a company that had done work on the building in the past because they are familiar with the building and have information from previous studies.
Hinson said that the idea to study the building to see if it could be used for a city hall had been part of a plan set over two years ago. He said that several things had come up and it had been put on the backburner several times.
Shellmyer also said he was concerned that the $24,000 for the study, as well as money for possible changes to the building was coming out of money given to the city by the Washington County Riverboat Foundation. He said that depending on whether Linn County votes to have a casino, the money from the foundation could be negatively affected. Hinson said that even if a Linn County casino is approved he estimated it would be at least five years before the revenues were impacted.
Councilman Mark Kendall said that he believed the city should postpone the study until the new library building is paid for. Mayor Sandra Johnson said that the study is not approving a project for the building. It is just learning what options the building could be used for and how much they would cost.