170601-nrr-libraryvigil-02 (copy)

Staff members tape a closed sign to the front door of the Roseburg Library in May.

Ordinance to reopen library proceeds

{child_byline}JOHN DICKEY

The News-Review

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The reopening of a public library in Roseburg as a city-run facility took a step forward Monday with a Roseburg City Council vote to approve the first reading of an ordinance that creates the Roseburg Public Library along with a Library Commission.

The ordinance will go into effect on March 1 if the City Council approves a second reading at its Feb. 26 meeting. The City Council will hold a public hearing at that meeting to consider a supplemental budget for the opening of the library.

City Manager Lance Colley said the city was still hoping to get the library open in summer 2018. But that timeline was contingent on being able to hire contractors for renovation work, Colley said.

The 35,000-square-foot library would be renovated to provide office space for a possible co-tenant, the Douglas Education Service District. The city is looking at the district to use some of the building for administrative offices and share costs of its operation.

A December 2017 city report said much of the remodeling will be necessary for the district to occupy the administrative space. But there will also be costs for the library side to bring the 1993 building up to code and update the collection area.

Mayor Larry Rich asked the audience to give a round of applause to Colley for his work in getting the library to this stage.

According to the city, the March 1 date would be an accelerated effective date for the ordinance to take effect, allowing the city to move forward with plans for renovating the facility, and advertising for community members who would like to serve on the seven-member Library Commission.

Colley said the City Council can expect library-related items on the agenda for its consideration in the next three to four meetings.

Among the additional items possible are intergovernmental agreements with Douglas Education Service District as well as contracts for architectural and remodeling services.

The former Douglas County Library Main Branch on Northeast Diamond Lake Boulevard closed May 31 when the county stopped operating it for budget reasons, following Douglas County voters’ rejection of a ballot measure to create a public library district and maintain operations.

Subsequently, the city has undertaken a number of steps toward reopening the library as a city public library starting in May when the City Council directed staff to evaluate a Roseburg Branch Library.

The City Council voted to accept the deed to the library building from Douglas County. The city has also hired consultants to evaluate the condition of the library building, and determine the minimum cost to remodel the building and provide staffing to reopen as a library.

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John Dickey can be reached at jdickey@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4204.

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City Government and Business reporter

John Dickey is a city government and business reporter for The News-Review.

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