MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

March 31, 2013

Proposed library work awaits AIM’s input

City officials want group to help determine goals

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer

— A new or refurbished library may have to wait until the city determines infrastructure priorities, officials said.

Before it moves too far ahead on a proposed multimillion-dollar expansion and repair of the library, the city wants input from Action In Muskogee officials, City Manager Greg Buckley said.

“We are interested in AIM’s input on the library. The last meeting I was at we were strategizing financing and part of that discussion was also how this fits in with AIM. It’s rather woven into many of the AIM initiatives,” Buckley said. “And we also discussed the library getting proactive with AIM initiatives as well — offering classes, for example, that fit in with the goals.”

Brien Thorstenberg,the director of business and economic development at the Muskogee City-County Port Authority, said AIM committees are working to identify priorities and projects on which to focus.

“The initiative chairs will bring the steering committee those ideas in April,” he said.

So far, the library project has only been discussed. The City Council has not voted to proceed with it.

In July 2012, discussion on the library included a proposal to update technology, move the children’s library area away from the front doors and expand it, and add an area for teenagers.

If the city goes ahead with the project, funding will be needed, and one source could be the Capital Improvements Program, Buckley said.

The program, which uses sales tax revenues, needs to be renewed by voters every five years. The next renewal vote will be in 2014.

The last renewal in 2009 funded projects such as repairs to the Coody Creek sanitation system, road work and a new terminal at Davis Field Airport.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.