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Supporters seek larger library for Clear Spring

May 25, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

The Washington County Commissioners were briefed Tuesday on a push to increase the size of a planned 6,000-square-foot library in Clear Spring.

Citizens for a Clear Spring Library, an advocacy group, told the County Commissioners they would prefer an 8,000-square-foot building.

Money has not been committed for a facility of either size. It is estimated that the smaller building will cost about $600,000 while the larger one may cost as much as $900,000.

The County Commissioners will not make a decision on the library size until some funding issues are resolved, County Commissioner Bert L. Iseminger said.

While he would prefer construction of the larger library, he does not want the community to hope for that size and be disappointed, Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said.

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Plans call for the library to be built on county land on the existing school complex west of town. Water, sewer and power are available at the complex.

The county's fiscal 2000 Capital Improvement Program includes $200,000 for the building.

The library is contacting the L.P. Snyder Trust Fund and the Washington County Gaming Commission about the possibility of obtaining funds. The community has raised $1,100 for the library.

Mary Baykan, director of the Washington County Free Library, is requesting $250,000 to $400,000 from the Snyder fund and $104,000 from the Gaming Commission.

The Washington County Free Library would name the branch the Leonard P. Snyder Memorial Branch in exchange for the $250,000-$400,000 contribution, Baykan said in a May 24 letter to the foundation.

Library advocates also plan to request $100,000 from the Maryland General Assembly.

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.

All three Clear Spring schools have libraries but when the schools close in the afternoon, so do the libraries.

The next closest library is in Hagerstown, 12 miles away.

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