Free and clear! Library retires building debt

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 8:55 PM
Celebrating RETIRING the debt incurred to build the new library, which was completed in 2004, were Lisa Roche, Shawna Valdez, Debbie Caldwell and Bill Hatcher, who were on the Dolores Public Library District Board during the building project. Library Director Carole Arnold presents the final check to Ed Merritt, Jr., president of Dolores State Bank. Beside him are bank board member Kevin Lovett, board chairman Dewayne Findley, and board members Larry Engel and Doug Aiken.

It's not every day that a public building is paid off. The Dolores Public Library building was a community project. Land and materials were donated, and many financial contributions were received, along with grants and tax dollars.

"It's something to celebrate and we want to let the taxpayers know that the community appreciates what they did," said Library Director Carole Arnold.

The library moved into its new facility in May 2004, and last week - just nine years later - made its final payment on the building.

It has been the history of the Dolores Public Library District, when requesting a funding increase, to inform supporters of the library's progress. In the 2003 election, the board asked voters for an increase of 1.5 mills, and requested that when the note was paid, the portion of the levy being used to pay off the note would sunset, leaving a portion for maintenance of the building.

Arnold said use of the library has increased by 50 percent since the new building was built. Its location on the Dolores River with views of nearby hillsides and the rushing river is ideal. Floor to ceiling windows, a stately reading room, and shaded courtyards and gardens attract locals and visitors alike.

"We are a library district, so we serve people beyond town. We have good libraries in our county and are very fortunate," Arnold said.

The library board, staff and patrons are grateful to the taxpayers for their continued support of the Dolores Public Library.