VERNON - Ownership of the Sam Mitchell Library has been transferred to the county.
At a council meeting Monday, Vernon City Council unanimously voted to approve Washington County to take possession of the library, located at 3731 Roche Ave. According to city officials, expenses to maintain the building were too great and the county has the ability to secure grants that are not accessible to the City.
Director of Washington County Public Library Renae Rountree attended the last council meeting to relay the message that the county was ready to take over the library. No monies were exchanged, as it was not a sale of the library, she said.
The property had been deeded to City of Vernon on the condition that a library was built on it within two years. A state legislator had funded a special appropriation to build it. However, the county has been operating the library since it was not financially sound for the City to run it, officials said.
"The county already has the county library facility in place, so, basically, this is allowing us to transfer it so that legally we can apply for things grants and approve our library services and approve the building," Rountree said at the meeting.
If, for any reason, the county cannot maintain it, the property would be automatically transferred back to the City, Mayor Tina Sloan said after the meeting.
Unrelated to the transfer, the Sam Mitchell Library is currently having a book sale. Call 850-535-1208. The "Books by the Bag" event requires a donation only. The library is open five days a week.
In other business, the council approved a wastewater management plan and treatment proposal. Also, the council approved the purchase of one set of bleachers for $1,218.
Vernon City Council meets at 6 p.m. on the first and third Monday of the month at City Hall, 2808 Yellow Jacket Drive.