June 1, 2011
Crozet residents may soon be able to park at the new library site before they're ever able to check-out a book.
The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors received an update on the new library project at Wednesday's meeting. Officials say they're starting with the parking lot, which was advertised for construction bid this week. Due to a halt on expensive, long-term projects and a renewed focus on maintaining local buildings, the county already has enough money to cover the $400,000 cost of the parking lot.
"Mostly the funding; two years ago the county has from multi-million dollar projects to really a maintenance only [approach], and it's due to revenues and where we stand as an economy," says Trevor Henry, manager of the Office of Facilities Development.
However, it's coming up with the remainder of the nearly $7 million price tag that's put construction of the library on hold. The Crozet Library Steering Committee was informed last year that the project could be postponed until 2015 if the money cannot be raised.
Former Fifth District Congressman Tom Perriello last year proposed a unique way to potentially fund the project. A program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture would allow the county to borrow the money at a low interest rate and take 40 years to pay it back.
"In addition to needing a new library, the library was supposed to be the linchpin of the Crozet master plan," said Jefferson-Madison Regional Library director John Halliday. "This seems like a very good opportunity for the county to take advantage of."
The Crozet library project remains in a holding pattern with no groundbreaking date in sight. In fact, developers are still working to complete design blueprints for the building.
In the meantime, officials say the parking lot will help alleviate parking issues in downtown Crozet.