03/26/08 — Pikeville discusses library future

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Pikeville discusses library future

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on March 26, 2008 1:54 PM

PIKEVILLE -- One Pikeville town commissioner discussed a commitment to "always" keeping a library in Pikeville, as the mayor lamented possible effects of a countywide library plan.

Newly-elected Commissioner Dennis Lewis said he thought Pikeville should continue funding libraries even after a county plan moves the libraries away from towns such as Fremont, Pikeville, Mount Olive and Seven Springs.

"One thing we need to do is to go ahead ... and make the commitment that there's always going to be a library here in Pikeville," Lewis said. "I think people need to hear (that) from this board."

Commissioner Al Greene noted the county's library plan to centralize libraries in the county, a move that would replace the existing town-based branches.

Greene said the idea of keeping a town library was nice, but probably impractical.

"I agree with (Lewis) in one sense, but I don't see how the town of Pikeville would be in the position to compete with the county library if they build a multi-million dollar library someplace," Greene said.

Mayor Herbert Sieger said he thinks the county library plan will marginalize library service for smaller towns in Wayne County.

"When they build, they're going to forget Fremont and everybody else," Sieger said.

Commissioner Lyman Galloway noted that the county's library plan, submitted at $9.4 million to county commissioners in September, may take a while to fund.

"You're talking about five to ten years down the road anyhow," Galloway said.

One major obstacle to the library's plans -- a jail project that will cost at least $44 million.

The county has 200 jail beds and usually more than 200 inmates to fill them.

Charlotte jail consultant Jim Brennan told commissioners in October that the county would need a 510-bed jail by the year 2030.