Monday, March 19, 2007

*Library Project Waits for Zoning Changes, Flood Plain Study

The new library project for Mancos is moving along, but the library board and director are jumping through hoops to keep the project on track. Currently, the board is waiting for a second reading for zoning changes at the March 28 town trustee meeting. At this time, the proposed site south of the Mancos River is zoned two-thirds commercial and one-third residential. The proposed zoning status will be public, will require onsite parking, which would dramatically change plans and limit available space for the structure.

"It was the board's recommendation that we change to public zoning. The process has been confusing, but the town has been helpful with getting us on meeting agendas," said Library Director Patsy Smith.

The land was originally owned by Empire Electric. "Weh we started looking at properties, we had certain criteria, such as being close to downtown and the school, and large enough for a facility that would meet the needs of our populations. We looked for two year," said Patsy Smith. The library board approached Empire, which agreed to the sale, the purchase of which was completed in January 2006.

The library board will not proceed with further design work for the new building until a flood plain study is completed. The study is being done by a Durango firm, Wilbur Engineering, and should be done in the next two weeks.

The library board plans to hire a construction manager/general contractor (CM/GM). "Instead of a design-bid-build process, we're doing the CM/GM project. The contractor will work directly with our architect during the design process and recommend materials and help with cost management. We believe it's an easier way to control costs and build a building we can afford," Smith said.

The proposal deadline is April 7; proposals will be evaluated during the week of April 9 and the selected contractor will be notified the week of April 13. "Hopefully, before the contrator comes on board, the flood plain study will be completed," Smith said.

On March 17, the board previewed some conceptual designs at a corned beef dieer. Jean and Clay Bader were named Capital Campaign Chairs for the library project. "We had three music groups - about 100 people attended," Smith said. She added that the P & D Grocery donated the corned beef and the school district provided drinks and table service. "It was a feel-good night, " Smith said. "Our goal was to present some design ideas to residents, but we raised over $300 for the building fund. Every dollar counts," she said.

From the Mancos Times

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