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County approves $1M for library

On Tuesday morning, the Troup County Board of Commissioners voted to contribute $1 million of the $6 million needed for the proposed renovations to LaGrange Memorial Library.

The City of LaGrange previously committed $1 million to the project in November, and the library plans to approach the state for $2 million in funding during the state session beginning in January. The remaining $2 million needed for the project is expected to come from local donors, and both the city and county contributions were given conditionally on the library gathering enough funds to complete the project.

The LaGrange Memorial Library was last renovated in 1994, and Keith Schuermann, director of the Troup-Harris Regional Library System, estimated that rough repairs for the library’s roof alone would cost roughly $453,000. An additional $525,000 with a 10 percent contingency would be needed for heating and air conditioning repairs. Under Georgia law, the county is solely responsible for funding the library. However, the City of LaGrange does supply some funding for the library each year.

“The way I look at it, we’re right at $1 million that we’d be out [for the roof and heating and air conditioner],” Commissioner Lewis Davis said. “We are getting virtually a whole new building facility for virtually around the same amount of money [from the county].”

Commissioner Ellis Cadenhead said that he hopes to see the county continue to be involved in the planning and renovation of the library moving forward. According to information shared during the meeting, Troup County has already taken an active role in the process.

“The commissioners and I have met with Keith on a couple of occasions and discussed the engineering design of the facility, trying to make it as energy efficient as possible — window placement, tree placement, air conditioner placement,” County Manager Eric Mosley said. “It should be a much more environmentally friendly, economically friendly building.”

If the library is able to obtain all the funding needed, Shuermann said it will likely hold a groundbreaking for the renovations in May 2020.

Other items covered during the meeting included: 

4The county approved a request to lift the hiring freeze to fill a vacant, budgeted position within the Mental Health Court.

4The board of commissioners voted to accept funds from a CACJ Award. The grant will primarily impact the case manager position in Carroll County, but because Troup County is the fiscal agent of the shared court department, the Troup County was required to approve the receipt of funds.

4The commissioners approved a request to accept an Accountability Court Supplemental Grant Award for the Felony Adult Drug Court. The grant amount of $12,000 will be matched with $1,333 from the DATE Fund, and Accountability Court Coordinator Denise Smith said that it will fund an assessor position.

4Both the Community Development Department and the Public Defender’s Office received approval from the county to apply for funding for summer interns through the ACCG Civic Affairs Foundation. 

4The Troup County Board of Commissioners approved the 2020 updated fee schedule. According to Chief Building Official Jay Anderson, the update will keep the county’s fees in line with surrounding counties and insure that the department remains budget neutral.

4The board of commissioners approved final budget amendments for the year to account for shifts in funds over the course of 2019.

4The board of commissioners voted to change its schedule to take into account the holiday.

4The board of commissioners approved the final plat for Stonewood Farms on Thrash Road.

4The board approved beer and wine license applications for the Summits at 2860 Upper Big Springs Road and 4630 Hamilton Road.

The Troup County Board of Commissioners will meet again on Thursday, Jan. 2 at 9 a.m. at 100 Ridley Ave.