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City Council is stuck on problem from past PDF Print E-mail

Letter to the Editor:

I applaud your editorial of May 28 supporting the board of trustees and the Library Foundation of the Walter E. Olson Memorial Library here in Eagle River. Thank you for what you wrote.

Thank you, by the way, is apparently an expression not in the City Council’s vocabulary, as the council as a whole has never congratulated those involved for having presented the community with $2.6 million and the dynamic architectural plan that will revitalize our library.

We would have to look far and wide from Eagle River to find another situation such as this — a foundation and a building project cabinet and a board of trustees have gathered $2.6 million for the renovation and expansion of the Eagle River area library. The council, which owns the property on which the library is built, has never even actively worked to support this project, nor has it even made the effort to thank those who have kept the proposed renovation from becoming a tax issue.

It was not the council who spoke to all the charitable organizations in the area, urging them to financially support this library project. It was not the council who canvassed for potential gifts and five-year pledges totalling just shy of $1 million. It was not the council who obtained a $1.6 million grant with a promise of more to come through matching grants from Tawani Foundation.

But it is the council who is stuck in a problem of the past. It is the council that refuses to accept decisions made by the Supreme Court of Wisconsin regarding bidding and building public projects. It is the council that would have the entire design process be unnecessarily repeated, even after funds to finance the renovation and addition have been pledged by people who approve the existing suggested design. It is the council who is stalling when we could begin to fulfill this wonderful dream made possible by donors who did not want to see taxpayers burdened by additional taxes.

The legal door is open for the council to work constructively with the trustees and the library foundation. They need to step through that door.

I agree with the News- Review editorial which states, “We sense some paranoia in their (the council’s) attempts to compare the city hall renovation of 20 years ago with the current library project.”

This library dream should not be shelved — we should not begin to lose pledges — because the council 20 years ago did not take bids on the construction phase of the city hall. We have the design. Let’s get on with the construction.

Bernie Hupperts

Eagle River

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 11:08 AM

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