Ground breaking ceremony after long wait

By WEEK Producer

September 28, 2013 Updated Sep 28, 2013 at 6:39 PM CDT

FARMINGTON, Ill. -- The third time was the charm for a new library in Farmington.

Last November, community members voted to help fund a new library on Lightfoot Road.
While the tax referendum for the library was rejected two times before, this time around -- Farmington residents voted in favor of the library by 67 votes.
 
"I don't know if anyone would be against a library, but those who were voting against it in the past, was probably because there are only so many tax dollars to go around," said Farmington Resident John Asplund.
 
Asplund voted in favor of building the new library. He attended the groundbreaking ceremony Saturday morning for the 2 and a half million dollar project, which is now expected to be completed by September of next year.
 
One of the key changes in this vote was the one and a half million dollar construction grant provided by the state.
 
"It was a help because if we couldn't have raised the local funds we wouldn't have been able to accept the grants," said Library Director Barbara Love. "That was a huge thing, and I think finally the time was just right to move ahead with it."
 
Library officials say thanks to the grant and more than $900,000 in local funds - the average annual tax increases for residents owning a one-hundred-thousand dollar home has declined by about 60 dollars - from when the community last voted in 2011.
 
With the new referendum, resident will pay about $12 additional per year.
 
Officials say the new building is necessary for more space along with access for the handicapped.
Officials say they have outgrown the old library, and while it may no longer be a place for books next year, the city hopes it will remain a significant building.
 
"It maybe outgrew its usefulness," said Mayor Kenn Stufflebeam. "That being said, it is a gorgeous building, and we are hoping to come up with a great use for it."
 
The new library will include a new study and meeting room, along with several lounging areas.
Construction is expected to begin in the coming weeks.