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City council discusses future of Grand Forks Public Library

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GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ)--A new chapter to the future of one of Grand Forks’ most talked about buildings.

The future of the library is in limbo again, after being put on the shelf for the past year.

In the past year - the library has spent 168-thousand dollars doing major work to this building.

A new roof - front entrance and heating system.

But more needs to be done to keep it viable for the public.

However, library leaders say they aren't willing to jump on major projects not knowing the future of the library.

“I like it here I like it a lot,” said Amelia, a library-goer.

But not everyone likes the Grand Forks Public Library on the south side of town.

“They should move to different location it'd be nicer for the people of grand forks to have a bigger library,” said Grand Forks resident, Fred Robinson.

Built in the 90s to serve a city of 40-thousand - now the library claims it serves 70-thousand.

“That's the biggest thing we are out of space so when people are wanting quiet study rooms or if they are touring or home schooling or meeting with some groups we don't have that kind of service we can offer and we don't have an option for them,” said Library Director, Wendy Wendt.

The heated debate has gone back and forth for the past decade - whether or not to renovate, rebuild near its current location, or move the library downtown. But the problem is money. The library has 2 million dollars--and any type of project would cost 10 times that amount.

“We’re doing those things that absolutely need to be done to get us through the winter or the next few months or the next few years,” said Wendt.

On Monday, the library met with the city council to try and come up with a solution to finally move on.  

“It's a great location for Grand Forks for right now.”

“In a perfect world we'd be in a place where everybody loved and I wouldn't care where that was, if the community loved it I would be happy to be there,” said Wendt.

And the saga will continue - likely for some time.

No decisions tonight... or concrete plans.

Both sides plan to address the issue again in the spring.

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