February 10, 2024 at 9:36 a.m.
No Decision on Library Yet
The County purchased the old AMC Theater building on N. Aspen Street in November along with some six acres of adjacent land for $850,000...considered a bargain price compared to other real estate in the area.
"Contrary to what some seem to believe, no decision on a new library in Lincolnton has been made yet." That's what Lincoln County Commission Chairman Carrol Mitchem urged reporters covering a special budget workshop session on Friday (Feb. 9th) to report.
"At the joint meeting with the Library Board, we did see a presentation by John Henry (County Purchasing Agent) that showed how the old AMC Theater building on North Aspen Street, recently purchased by the County, could be renovated for a library at a fraction of the cost of building a new building; but no action was taken on that presentation, and no decision has been made concerning the Lincolnton library location."
County Manager Davin Madden added that the only decision the Commissioners made at that meeting was to build a new library in East Lincoln. "No action has been taken on the Lincolnton library and no decision has been made on how the County will use the old theater property," Madden said.
The East Lincoln area, the most populated and fastest growing portion of Lincoln County, has outgrown the Shanklin Library at Westport. A recent study suggested that a new library for East Lincoln should be the first priority for library expansion. Commissioners voted unanimously at that joint meeting to build a new East Lincoln library.
Members of the Library Board, an advisory council, had expressed their desire to keep the Lincolnton library location in the downtown Lincolnton area. Unfortunately, expanding the current location at the Jonas Bldg. on West Main Street isn't feasible; and since the County and City have exchanged properties--with the city of Lincolnton getting the historic courthouse, the Oaklawn community building, and the Farmers Market property on West Water Street, there appears no suitable location in the central downtown area for a new library. But as Mitchem & Madden said on Friday, "no decision has been made yet."
Mitchem did say that a decision--on both the use of the old theater property and a new library in Lincolnton--"will be coming soon."