Library supporters not ready to quit

April 04, 2000|By MARLO BARNHART

CLEAR SPRING - Once Margaret Cornett got over the initial shock of learning there would be no money from the state for a new Clear Spring Library, she took action.

Cornett showed up Tuesday for the monthly town meeting armed with a chart showing how many library members live in the Clear Spring area.

"There are nearly 3,000 Clear Spring area residents who have library cards," Cornett said, citing figures from the Washington County Free Library.

Add to that more than 1,200 children at the three schools, and that shows a crucial need to Cornett and others who refuse to see the Clear Spring library efforts fail.


A $100,000 contribution from Gov. Parris Glendening's supplemental budget had been considered nearly a sure thing for the past few months. Over the weekend, that hope was dashed when the funding list came out and Clear Spring wasn't on it.

"We were taken off the state bond bill request because the delegation was so sure we'd get this," said Isabelle Stottlemyer, a teacher at Clear Spring Elementary School and library committee leader.

Stottlemyer said the Clear Spring Library project had been high on that bond bill request but was removed.

With the hoped-for $100,000 grant from the governor, the library committee would have needed only about $50,000 more to finance an 8,000-square-foot building.

"Now we need $150,000," Stottlemyer said. She said county officials have said they are counting on the larger building and are willing to wait until the money's there.

In March, members of the library committee met with the Clear Spring Mayor and Town Council and asked for a one-time donation of $10,000 for the project and a waiver of the $6,600 water and sewer allocation fee.

The waiver was given no chance but a donation was expected.

At Tuesday's meeting, Cornett asked town officials to let it be known that the town supports the library and will continue to take a lead role.

Mayor Paul Hose Jr. commended Cornett for her work and noted that this was the first time anyone had given him numbers that show the need for a library.

Hose said the town's new budget, along with the amount to be donated to the library, will be discussed at the May meeting.

As of Tuesday, the library committee had raised $549,822.26, toward the $726,000 needed to build an 8,000-square-foot building, Cornett said.

"We need to read to be inspired and to learn," Cornett said. "The young and the old need the best library we can get them."

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