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County to sign deal with board to use building

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Agreement to move senior center to former library expected to be approved

By Molly Haines

A deal to bring new life to the former Owen County Public Library is expected to be approved by Owen County Judge-executive Carolyn Keith.
The property at 118 North Main Street is being deeded to the Owen County Fiscal Court for use by the Owen County Senior Center.
The Owen County Tourism Commission will also have space for a welcome center and promotional area near the front of the building.
In exchange for the building, the court has agreed to have the county road crew remove snow from the parking lot of the library’s new facility on Hwy. 22, with the understanding that all county roads will take first priority.
The county will also mow fields around the library.
“The agreement is set for around 10 years,” Keith said. “But we assume that it will be something that goes on forever.”
The Owen County Fiscal Court voted at its Feb. 12 meeting to give Keith permission to sign the contractual agreement and deed.
The library board first approached the fiscal court in August and offered to deed the property at 118 North Main Street to the court for use by the Owen County Senior Center with the approval of a proposed 25-year agreement.
The proposed agreement asked that the county remove snow from the parking lot and sidewalks of the new library, mow an acre and a half weekly or as needed and mow  the remaining acreage as needed, as well as perform routine maintenance on the library’s outreach vehicle.
Keith said the court had agreed to the snow removal and bush hogging, but if lawn service was included, the court would have to purchase a larger mower and it could lead to the hiring of an additional employee.
In December, the library board offered a second agreement, that included a five-year lease with utilities, insurance and maintenance of the building in exchange for $300 a month in rent for the services that were asked for in the original plan.
Owen County Library Director Jennifer Nippert said the new plan will benefit everyone involved and she’s glad both parties could finally reach an agreement.