The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.
Iím curious. Does someone up at City Hall really want to kill downtown Warrensburg? According to a report on the Friends of Trails Regional Library meeting, the Library Board is looking for another site because the City threw in some unacceptable conditions on the city owned land west of City hall. Since real estate negotiations are exempt from Sunshine Law requirements, I can only infer the nature of the conditions from the public report; it looks to me like the City is demanding some extra perks for the city in exchange for the land.
Now, Trails Library doesnít have to locate downtown. They donít have to locate within the Warrensburg city limits. They donít even have to put their headquarters in Johnson County. What they do have to do is sell their project & tax increase to the voters of Lafayette County and rural Johnson County as well as Warrensburg. Including extra perks for the City of Warrensburg would certainly be a rallying point for opposition to organize around and could defeat the whole project.
The Library Board is looking for an alternate place near downtown. While there are places that might be made to fit, theyíd involve buying property from multiple private landowners and displacing existing businesses. Thatís expensive. Design work already bought would have to be redone. Thatís expensive. Moving the library from downtown would remove a focal point and would hurt downtown restaurants and other businesses.
I donít remember the County receiving any perks when they donated the land for the Veterans Home. The City should quit trying to play hardball and return the favor. Tell your councilperson!
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