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Marshall Public Library trustees set policy

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Moving quickly through the one-topic agenda for Wednesday evening's special meeting, the Marshall Public Library Board of Trustees gave its approval to a new policy statement regarding library facilities and what criteria will be evaluated in determining any new location for the library.

Amy Crump, library director, shared with board members Prosecuting Attorney Don Stouffer's response to questions she submitted about the proposed policy statement. No issues were raised with any of the criteria outlined in the statement, although a section about providing an opportunity for public comment about a proposed site was not specifically addressed.

The response did spell out Missouri's "Sunshine Law" provision for governmental bodies to meet in closed session regarding the purchase, lease or sale of property including real estate, but Stouffer advised consideration of sites was probably best done during an open meeting.

One board member also pointed out that having criteria for the possible eventual process of picking a new library site in writing will also be of help to members new to the board. The Marshall City Council is expected to approve two new members of the library board -- Katie Elsea and Jeanne Simonton -- at its next regular session on Feb. 6.

The policy, passed without dissent, lists criteria to determine sites for a library including accessibility, acquisition cost, adjacent land uses, availability, community opinion, construction/site development cost, convenience, environmental issues, legal costs to acquire the property, parking, the size and shape of the property and visibility.

Among the items spelled out under the various criteria are expectations that any library site "will be easily accessible by car, bicycle and on foot," "be acceptable to the majority of the residents in the projected service area" and a site "will allow for expansion of the building and expansion of the parking lot."

Following the vote to approve the policy statement, the board went into executive session.

Contact Mark Lile at


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