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Discussions continue on Wilmore library branch

The City of Wilmore and the Jessamine County Public Library are getting closer to an agreement to open a branch in the new city government building.

Earlier this summer, the city finalized the purchase of the former Providence School and has been moving every aspect of city government into the building.

Wilmore Mayor Harold Rainwater said the city attorney prepared a tentative agreement and asked for the city council members’ input during Monday’s meeting.

The plan, Rainwater said, is for the library to use the lower level in the facility as it provides the best option.

“It’s the only area with the space they require,” Rainwater said. “We all agreed that’s the best location.”

Rainwater said the lower level has four rooms, two offices and two bathrooms. Best of all, it has private front and rear entrances, and can be open independently of the city offices, he said. 

If it comes to fruition, it would be the first public library in Wilmore.

As big as the building is, Rainwater said it is filling up more quickly than they thought. The final officers from the Wilmore Police Department were expected to move in Tuesday.

“One whole wing is the police,” he said. “Parks and Recreation has their space.”

The Wilmore Fire Department will have a training room in the building, along with offices for the city clerk and other departments. The county clerk’s office is expected to open its space after the election, he said. There is even room for the city archives.

“There’s only three or four rooms that are not identified (for use),” he said. “Right now, they’re storage.”

Later in the meeting, the council members approved a resolution for Rainwater to proceed with finalizing the plans for the granary project. The city received a $500,000 grant, accompanied by a $100,000 match from the city, to stabilize the 106-year-old building on East Main Street.

The plans and drawings will determine how much can be done with the available money, he said, to keep the building from deteriorating further.

Eventually, the city hopes to partner with a private company to develop the building further with a similar financial commitment and to reimburse the city’s purchase price for the building, he said. 

Though the project may be bid later this year, construction won’t begin until 2021. 

The council members also approved an agreement with Metronet to allow the company to provide internet service in Wilmore and compete with current provider Spectrum. Rainwater said Metronet’s contract is for eight years, the same amount of time left on Spectrum’s contract. 

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0051.

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