Library move should upset users, taxpayers

To the editor:

The plan to move the Tesson Ferry Branch County Library from its present location to a site at Gravois and Musick roads should have a lot of the Tesson Ferry Library users and taxpayers upset.

The request from the Green Park mayor and Board of Aldermen to the St. Louis County Library Board of Trustees had no effect in identifying the Gravois and Musick site as a site that was not centrally located to all residents of south county and that access to this facility would require substantial additional capital.

I feel the library board should place the signing of the purchase contract on hold until a more centrally located site is found.

There are several reasons for this. As Mr. Jack Harris indicated in his recent letter to the editor, there are a substantial number of issues that will be very costly to address.

All of these costs must be clearly identified prior to signing of the contract and not after the contract is signed. The road improvements alone could cost more than $1 million.

I would say that the first thing the library board needs to review is the very high cost of the property. The cost of the new site has been identified as $2.9 million and this is without the substantial amount of roadwork that will be required on Musick Road. In comparison, there have been other sales of large tracts of land along Gravois, just to the east of Musick Road.

Cor Jesu Academy purchased two tracts of land that totaled 16.35 acres for $2.275 million. So it doesn’t make a lot of sense that a property that is one-quarter the size of the Cor Jesu tract would cost more — that is $625,000 more than property that is four times larger.

I have made a request of 6th District County Councilman Steve Stenger to assist taxpayers in slowing down the procurement process until a better site is located — a site that certainly is more convenient to all south county residents. I did not receive any comment from Stenger or his office.

I understand that Green Park Mayor Bob Reinagel also attempted to obtain the councilman’s assistance and received no reply from Stenger or his office. As the mayor of a community directly in the heart of south county, I am surprised assistance from county leaders is not available.

When there is a lot of taxpayer money on the verge of being wastefully spent, our civic leaders need to step up and work with taxpayers to find a solution.