It was a full house at Greenfield High School Wednesday night, where most of the City Councilors approved a nearly $20 million new library. But there was a catch, city councilors had to vote on zoning changes in order to make the library deal work.
Greenfield City Councilor Otis Wheeler told 22News, residents support a new library.
“It’s a big move to change the zoning up there on French King. If you know anything about the politics in Greenfield, it’s the major issue, major controversy even of the past 25 years,” said Wheeler. “But the more research I did and my fellow councilors did, I really came around to the feeling that this would have a positive effect.”
The library needed nine ‘yes’ votes out of 13 councilors, which it got because of a comprise — allowing for more commercial development on the French King Highway in Greenfield.
Assistant Greenfield Library Director Lisa Prolman told 22News, they’ve already drawn out plans for the new library.
“But now the real work is going to start of how much do we need for this and where would this go, and we’ll do the finalizations of the design and then hopefully start construction,” said Prolman.
Approving a new library also means the city would need to tear down the existing fire station. But Greenfield Mayor William Martin told 22News, they’ve approved a new location for a public safety complex, which the first phase would be the fire department.
“So we intend in the capital budget, which was presented a couple of days ago, to request $550,000 to begin construction drawings and adopt a building to that site,” said Martin.
Mayor Martin told 22News, the new location for the fire department will be between Riddell and Beacon Streets.