The Carolina Gateway, June 27, 2007-
BY JENNY HARTLEYjhartley@thelancasternews.com
Indian Land Action Council President Mack McDonald wonders why no work has been done on the Del Webb Library at Indian Land. The library is slated to be built in Carolina Commons, the
commercial district at Sun City Carolina Lakes. Del Webb, which is developing Sun City, contributed 2 acres of land and $1.5 million toward construction of the library. McDonald said Del Webb has built 1,000 homes at Sun City and what he called a “fancy” entrance at the retirement community for the age 55 and up crowd. The company also landscaped the median in front of the development. But only a sign marks where the library will be. Some of the action council is disheartened that work hasn't begun, McDonald said. “Nothing has happened,” he
said. “I've worked in government for 25 years and I understand the wheels of government
turn slowly. But the library stalled. I'm kind of disappointed in that.”
Karen Paulson, who becomes chairwoman of the Lancaster County Library Board on July 1,
said the library has been delayed several times, but she expects bids for the project to
go out in mid-July. “This is a joint effort between Lancaster County, RED Partners (the developing company for Carolina Commons) and Sun City,” Paulson said. “There were some glitches to be worked out.” But work so far has moved slowly because it takes time to
work out planning a library for a commercial center. The latest delay is getting a vacant home on the site torn down or moved. Original plans were to give it away to someone
who would pay to move it. Now the library board is looking for bids to tear it down. Paulson said she's beginning to get worried that Lancaster County won't be able to come up with more funding for the library before books and furnishings need to be bought. Those items will need to be bought before the county's next budget year, which will begin July 1, 2008.
The construction and furnishing cost of the library is $2.2 million. Including Del Webb’s $1.5 million, outstanding pledges and pledges already received, the library has about $1.9 million so far. County Council negotiated for Del Webb's contribution and for a $100,000 contribution from the developers of Bretagne, a high-end neighborhood in Indian Land. Some of the pledges the library has received will not be made until 2008 or 2009. For example, Founders Federal
Credit Union’s pledge of $50,000 will be made over five years. Bretagne's contribution won’t come to the county until 2009.
Lancaster County Library Director Richard Band asked County Council in a June 11 letter to include the library in a bond issue the council was considering to build a new magistrate's
office and buy new computers for the county and heavy equipment for the public works
department. County Council did not discuss including the library's needs in the bond issue.
Once ground breaks at the site and work starts, Paulson said she feels donations for the
library will begin to pick up. “Once we start seeing some activity on the site, I think the
personal donations will pick up, but even the corporations and businesses will start getting
excited,” Paulson said.
County Councilman Bryan Vaughn, who represents Indian Land, said County Council has
designated large contributions from developers to the library. “The Bretagne money could
have gone to the general fund,” Vaughn said. “We just said up front that you’re going to designate $100,000 to the library.” Vaughn said he thinks there's ample money now to build the library. Once construction begins, he believes more contributions will be made. “Everything else will fall into place,” he said.
In other Library News: The Carolina Gateway and Sun City are organizing another "Fall into Fun" festival for the Del Webb Library at Indian Land. Last year’s festival raised about $9,000. Organizers expect this year’s festival, set for Sept. 29, to raise at least $20,000.
To reserve a booth, volunteer or just for details, call Carolina Gateway editor Jane Alford at 803.283.1154.