Jasper Library Board To Negotiate Price For Former Hoosier Desk Building; No Decision Has Been Made (with VIDEO)

JASPER (NNDC) – The Jasper Library Board has decided it will move forward on its own to negotiate a purchase price with the current owners of the former Hoosier Desk Building.

Now this does not mean the library board has decided to purchase the factory building as a new home for the Jasper Library.

The decision to move forward in getting a purchase price locked in as soon as possible will allow the board to move forward in trying to get a referendum on the ballot next year.

The library board needs to lockdown a price before moving forward with any referendum. The library board must still decide whether expanding the current library site on north Main Street is in the best interest of the community, or decide if it wants to be part of the proposed joint purchase and renovation of the Hoosier Desk building with the Jasper Arts Commission and renovate it into a new Jasper Cultural Center.

The proposed JCC would also be the new home for the Jasper Arts Commission.

Library board president Dean Vonderheide says the library board is taking the initiative in negotiating a purchase price with the building’s owners; brothers Paul and Ken Sternberg.  He says the price needs to be known for the board to decide by next month on a location so it can have the needed paperwork in place so the referendum can be on the November 2016 ballot…

The initial price tag to renovate the Hoosier Desk building is a little more than 12 million dollars. The price does not include the purchase of the building nor does it include possible tax credits or private investment.

The referendum the library board is hoping to get on the 2016 ballot will ask voters of Bainbridge Township for the money to pay for what it decides to do.

The arts commission says it is only interested in the Hoosier Desk building for its new home.

Commission president Mike Jones has said as of right now his group has no interest in an expanded facility at the current library site.

The arts commission half of purchasing the Hoosier Desk location would have to be approved by the city council as well as the funding.

The library board is still in the process of gathering costs to expand the current library.

The Jasper Cultural Center idea does have the support of a local committee that is the driving force behind Jasper’s application in Frontier Communications’ America’s Best Communities contest.  Jasper is one of 50 semifinalists in the contest.

Jasper’s new Downtown/Riverfront Master Plan and the proposed cultural center are key components in the committee’s application.  Top prize is $3 million.

The committee held a public rally a week ago Thursday supporting the Hoosier Desk/Jasper Cultural Center idea…

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