MAHONING CO. Trustees OK plan to lease building

The new Poland library is expected to open Nov. 5.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County trustees authorized negotiations for a lease agreement for the Austintown library building.
Access, a data acquistion site owned by school districts in Mahoning and Columbiana counties, would lease the building once the new branch library is completed and the present facility vacated.
Although details of the agreement with Access are yet to be finalized, a proposal that calls for a 10-year arrangement in which the organization, currently housed in Canfield, would eventually own the building could save the library system the $59,000 a year it spends leasing lines for data communications, said Carlton A. Sears, library director.
The proposed agreement calls for the countywide library system to contract with Access to provide various electronic services, including Internet services, and to build a fiber network 100 times faster than the lines the library currently uses.
Access would contract with the library to lease the Austintown building, paying about what the library would pay for the services that Access would provide. After 10 years, Carlton explained, Access would own the building.
Fund transfers: During Friday's meeting, the board also authorized the transfer of $1.55 million from the general fund to the building and repair fund, and $200,000 to the technology development fund, and heard progress reports on construction of the new Poland and Austintown libraries.
Appropriations from the general fund to the building and repair fund will cover expenses such as replacement of exterior doors at the Boardman library, installation of which will require the library to close Oct. 19.
Appropriations to the technology development fund will go toward training and a new software system.
Daniel Becker, chairman of the Poland Library building committee, said progress on the new Poland Library "is coming along." The tentative opening is Nov. 5 with a grand opening ceremony and reception planned for Nov. 14. The new library will be a featured stop on Poland's annual Tour of Homes on Dec. 4 and 5.
Construction of the new Austintown library also is progressing, said Dr. David Ritchie, chairman of the Austintown Library building committee. "By December," he said "everything should be under roof."
What's planned: In other action, Sears discussed a new program, TeenXTreme, designed to encourage teen-agers to visit the library and read. The library will celebrate national Teen Read Week from Oct. 13-20 with a visit from WHOT radio disc jockey, Chase, from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Boardman library, and a visit from KISS-FM from noon to 2 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Austintown library. A new Web site geared toward teens,, also will be introduced.

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