October 20, 2014

Omer in planning stages for new library

By Eric Young
Managing Editor | editor@ogemawherald.com
Posted

OMER — The city of Omer is currently putting together plans for a new library to be built at City Hall, thanks to grant money from the Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe.

According to Mayor Alice Sproule, the dream of building a new library became a reality last fall, when she received a $57,000 grant from the Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe, after she wrote a last-minute grant requesting money for the library.

“At the last minute I put something together for the library,” Sproule said, adding that city council members said it was useless because she didn’t have a lot of the details they thought were necessary to receive the grant.

“I said all they could do is tell us no,” Sproule said. She said she was surprised when she heard how much money the city had received.

“I thought they made a mistake,” she said.

Sproule said the city had been hoping to build a new library for a long time. The current library is housed in a portable building that Sproule said was from an old Head Start program. She said the building is probably 30-40 years old.

Sproule said the new library will be constructed with money from the grant, as well as from the approximately $60,000 that the library has put aside. However, she is not yet sure how much of that money can be put toward the actual construction. She said she believes some of it can be, but some may have to be used for shelving and other items in the library.

Sproule said the city met with area code enforcement Jan. 12, where some suggestions were made that are being considered. She said the project would be put out for bids soon.

The current plan is to build an addition onto City Hall, to house the new library.

Sproule said the Omer Library is part of the Iosco-Arenac District Library, which is where it gets its books. She said being a part of the district has been a benefit for the library.

“We have resources that the whole library district has,” Sproule said. “But we’ve been confined for space.”

She said that while the city had wanted to build a new library, the money from the tribe is what made it a reality.

“That got us going,” Sproule said.

She said that even though a start date has not yet been set for construction, it probably wouldn’t start until spring.

“The weather is too iffy,” she said. “We want to start as soon as we can. We’ll have something in a year. I’m not sure if it will be completed by then though.”

She said the city is very grateful to be able to move ahead with the project.

“We’re all very excited,” Sproule said.

It is unknown at this time exactly how much the project will cost.

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