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The debate about the new Appleton Public Library heats up

Local News

A tax advocacy group called the “Appleton Concerned Taxpayers Group” recently sent a letter to Appleton Mayor Jake Woodford and the City Council asking them to reconsider building a new library.

“We’ve done studies, there’s been engineering studies in 2009, in 2014 that said, the library, the building is in excellent condition, it need renovation and other things, but we’re saying why build a brand new building when you can renovate the current building for a lot less money for the tax payer,” said Mike Thomas, the founder of the group.

The 2021 budget has $2.4 million dollars slated to to design plans for a new library building on the current site downtown.

The budget also looks ahead at the remaining funding needed to construct the library totaling $24 million dollars to be spent in 2022 and 2023.

The taxpayers group is hoping for a more cost effective option.

“Utilizing a used building is much less expensive than building a new one… Our basic contention is, at least give options to the tax payer,” said Thomas.

Local Five reached out to the Mayor’s Office about the Appleton Concerned Taxpayers Group’s opposition to a new building and did not receive a comment today.

But on September 15th the Mayor discussed why the city needs a state of the art library.

“I think in the City of Appleton it’s important to recognize the role that the library can play in the neighborhood where it is. The role it can play as a positive influence as really an anchor institution in this neighborhood,” said Mayor Jake Woodford.

There are those in Appleton who agree with the plan to construct a new library.

Cory Lardinois, an Appleton resident said, “I do think it has maybe has outgrown it’s spot a little bit and I personally would love to see a new location and a new library that would just expand the service for all the residents of Appleton and the surrounding areas.”

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