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Limestone County Commission OKs $60,000 for library

By Holly Hollman 340-2445

ATHENS — Library leaders may have finally developed a plan for a new library that city and county leaders will embrace.

On Tuesday, the Limestone County Commission approved paying $20,000 a year for three years to help the Athens-Limestone Public Library and its foundation buy the former Kroger building on Jefferson Street.

That is contingent on the Athens City Council approving to pay the same amount for the same time frame.

The council will meet Thursday at 2 p.m. at City Hall to discuss the issue.

An anonymous citizen has agreed to pitch in $40,000 if the city and county will ante up.

The commission previously had said it couldn't afford to help pay $700,000 to buy the Kroger property and then pay for $4.5 million to $5 million for renovations and increased operating costs.

The City Council, meanwhile, said that without the county's help, it couldn't fork over funds for the project.

Susan Todd, head librarian, said the new plan is for the library board to get a loan and the library foundation to raise money to pay it back. The anonymous citizen, city and county would help pay loan interest costs.

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