Upshur library officials ready for parking lot

BUCKHANNON -Putting down pavement could solve the Upshur County Public Library’s parking problems, and library officials are ready to proceed, they told the Upshur County Commission Thursday.

Lee Dixon, treasurer of the library’s board of directors, and library director Patricia Tolliver appeared before Commission seeking guidance about how it should move forward in transforming an adjacent property into a new parking lot.

“As you know, a few years ago, (the county) purchased the (Calvin) Phillips property with the specific intent of putting in a parking lot, and we’d now like to start that process,” Dixon said. “We’d like to do it as economically as possible.”

He said the board is eager to begin so the lot can be laid during spring 2014.

“Getting in and out of the current parking lot is a dangerous situation,” Dixon added. “From Day One, that parking lot was never adequate, and although the nature of the library is changing over time, we do need that parking.”

The building that currently stands on the lot is asbestos-free and ready for demolition, Dixon said, but there’s also a beauty shop on the lot, which Dixon said “would quite frankly be in the way.”

The owner of the beauty shop has a month-to-month lease and knew moving eventually would be required, Dixon added.

“I’m not sure if we should let the house go out to salvage. We could talk about possibly getting with the National Guard or a third party,” he said.

“I think it’s just going to be a matter of determining the most cost-efficient means of removing the house and preparing that,” County Commission President Donnie Tenney replied. “I think there was the possibility of some folks in the private sector donating some materials.”

Dixon said the library wasn’t seeking an immediate answer, but it would like Commission to contemplate the question.

Upshur County Administrator Megan Pomeroy said the Commission also needs to consider the location of electric and water lines before demolishing the structure.

In other business, Nate Kennedy, Scout Master of Troop 128, announced the Boy Scouts of America will stage a food drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 2. All active Boy Scout troops and Cub Scout packs in the county will knock on doors within the city and in neighborhoods just outside city limits seeking donations of food. Residents who wish to participate also may bring food donations to a collection area that will be set up in Jawbone Park during the same timeframe, Kennedy said.

“This year’s drive is a little bit different in two ways. I’ve been able to bring in all other troops and packs within the county, so it’s a unified effort for Boy Scouts in the county,” he explained. “Also, this year, we’re not putting out fliers and coming back to collect donations of food. We’re actually knocking on doors.”