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Published December 14, 2010, 08:02 PM

GF City Council Requests Cost Estimates For Three Possible Library Sites

Despite survey results showing overwhelming favor for one site, a new proposed library in Grand Forks is not as close to happening as you might think.

Despite survey results showing overwhelming favor for one site, a new proposed library in Grand Forks is not as close to happening as you might think.

As revealed at December 13th's City Council meeting, the old Leevers site on North Washington is the favorite, but there are a few more steps to go.

"We had the chance to get into the mind of the voter before we go to the polls," said Susan Mickelson, president of the Grand Forks Public Library Board.

According to survey results from DMD Consulting, 73-percent of those voters said, 'Yes, we want the proposed new library at the Leevers site on North Washington.'"

"If we can plug that into the ballot, then we only need to worry about getting the education into place and making sure everyone goes to the polls," Mickelson said.

However, it will not be quite so easy.

"We shared that information with the council and they didn't necessarily agree it was a lock-in."

Moving forward now requires cost estimates on three sites: the Leever's site, South 47th Street near the new wellness center and the current building for a possible remodel.

"We're going to do a comparative analysis on those sites," said Roger Helland.

According to Helland, an architect at Widseth Smith Nolting, what the city council wants is pretty standard before going forward with a design.

"Evaluate all the utilities, site conditions, the buildings in the case of the existing site and compare to the cost of things we will need to look at," Helland said.

The library board has to submit these estimates before January so the city council can move forward to the next chapter in this story.

"The City Council is in charge of crafting the ballot language and approving the process for a special election," said Mickelson.

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