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Clear Spring moves step closer to getting new library

May 11, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

CLEAR SPRING - A new library for Clear Spring moved closer to reality Tuesday night as the Washington County Commissioners met with a dozen townspeople to talk dollars, cents, bricks and mortar.

The county has earmarked $200,000 to build a 6,000-square-foot building, perhaps on county land in the existing school complex west of town.

The L.P. Snyder Trust Fund and the Washington County Gaming Commission will be contacted about the possibility of fund availability.

Contributions are tax-deductible and checks can be made out to the Washington County Free Library for the Clear Spring Branch fund, said Mary Baykan, director of the county library.

Baykan is involved in helping Clear Spring get the new library, projecting costs and needed supplies.

Under the larger library's auspices, the Clear Spring library can be eligible for assistance, computers, and other resources, Baykan said.

"We hope to bid this project by winter," said Gary Rohrer, Washington County director of public works.

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A big plus for the school complex site is that water, sewer and power are already there, Rohrer said.

Commissioner Bert Iseminger encouraged those attending Tuesday's meeting to put all their energies toward augmenting the regular sources of money through fund drives.

"You could get what you want ... sooner and bigger," Iseminger said, alluding to some community suggestions that an 8,000-square-foot building would be more in line with expected usage.

Commissioner William Wivell called Clear Spring a unique community.

"You pitch in and build what you need," Wivell said, referring to recent improvements undertaken by town residents at the sports complex. "With that same spirit of cooperation, you'll have this up in no time."

Indeed Paula Smith, a member of the Clear Spring Library committee, said her group plans to have information available at this week's National Pike Days celebration to start the drive.

Smith also asked if the proposed building could be expanded in the future.

Commissioner President Gregory I. Snook said there is plenty of acreage for expansion.

Baykan, who has been working closely with the county on the library plans, said the library probably would be open 20 hours a week initially.

Frustrated after 10 years of efforts to build a town library, a group of Clear Spring area residents started pushing for one earlier this year.

Petitions were distributed to businesses, fire halls, restaurants, civic organizations, banks, post offices and gas stations throughout the Clear Spring area. A letter went home with elementary students in mid-January.

All three Clear Spring schools have libraries but once the schools close in the afternoon, so do the libraries. The next closest library is in Hagerstown, 12 miles away.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the Clear Spring library fund can send contributions to Washington County Free Library, 100 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown, MD 21740.

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