Letter: Look at fairness with library project
By Elaine Ahlers, Worthington
Regarding a new library, I am not against education, but I am against inequitable funding. I don’t feel it’s the county’s sole responsibility to fund a library.
The city of Worthington stands to gain the most, yet it is clearly against helping with the cost. The argument goes that city residents are also county residents and thus paying county taxes. This thinking would be fair if the library was built and maintained with tax money just from the value of everyone’s house and one acre. I am not sure why farmland has to pay for building and running a library.
I encouraged my children to excel in academics rather than athletics. They all did well in school in spite of growing up in a home with no Internet access. If schools are requiring Internet usage to complete assignments, the schools should be the ones keeping their computer labs open after hours instead of relying on a public library system to accommodate students. As far as adults, I believe the library at the college is available for general public use since it is also funded with public tax money.
It would make more sense to build a climate-controlled, machine shed-type building at the entrance to Pioneer Village to house the Historical Museum. Hopefully, that could be done for $1 million or so. As far as the Art Center, it could possibly be paired with the college, or the city could help with the funding for it. That would free up the basement of the current library for the children’s room where it once was located (before an elevator was even there).
Remodeling the county maintenance building into a library would be a very costly choice, since that would require building a new replacement maintenance building on top of expensive remodeling of the old one.
Kudos to Commissioner Matt Widboom for looking at things from a sensible perspective.