Letter: Marion library project raises questions

The Marion library project as Todd Dorman summarized it in The Gazette stated all the reasons why the project is good, including no new taxes/debt (“Closing the book on prospects for a Marion library vote,” Feb. 26). Seems too good to be true.

What’s not to like? Some questions come to mind:

1. Should a library foundation have authority to control a library historically managed by city government elected by taxpayers?

2. Should a foundation (for 10 years) or city be a landlord, competing with private citizens/businesses in retail and housing? Remember Cedar Rapids city ownership of the downtown hotel and its implications for taxpayers.

3. What’s wrong with a stand-alone library bond issue by the city if the residents vote for it? A previous Marion City Council voted unanimously for the citizens to vote on this project.

4. What will happen to the (1996) library? Will it be sold for $2.5 million, be preserved by the buyer, torn down and/or what would a new building look like?

5. Uptown Marion has various vacancies for retail business. Do we need more empty vacancies as a part of the grand mixed-use library plan?

Marion has been my home for 38 years. I’m a regular library user and a member of friends of the Marion Public Library. It would be sad for the city and future city councils, current businesses about to be displaced and taxpayers to have this potential burden placed on them.

Steve Hebron


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