By Jeff Gallatin
Bay Village city and Cuyahoga County Public Library officials are homing in on the possibility of placing a new $7.5-million state-of-the-art county library branch in Cahoon Park.
Mayor Paul Koomar and Law Director Gary Ebert made a presentation to the county library board’s capital committee Thursday about the potential for placing a new branch in Cahoon Park. The meeting was a follow-up to a January letter sent to Sari Feldman, the executive director for the Cuyahoga County Public Library, by the Cahoon Park Board of Trustees, which consists of the mayor, law director and city council of Bay Village.
After thanking Feldman for meeting with the trustees (in an executive session under the potential property transaction clause of the sunshine laws), the letter cites a potential library site in Cahoon Park, which is governed by provisions of the Cahoon will.
“There is a parcel of land just west of City Hall which may be suitable for your new location,” the letter said. “Although we have not taken formal action, there is unanimous consensus among the trustees to continue this discussion and offer the parcel of land as a possible location. Once you have formally announced your intentions we will proceed with the formal resolution and probate court approval in order to expedite and move forward with this venture.”
Koomar, Ebert and all the members of Bay Village City Council signed the letter.
Referring to the Thursday meeting, Koomar said it went well.
“Gary made a good presentation on the provisions of the Cahoon will and what can and can’t be done in the park itself,” Koomar said. “He explained how there was a community library in the park previously from 1919 to 1960, so there is a precedent for having a library in the park.”
Koomar noted the current county library at 502 Cahoon Road went in later. He said with the provisions in the will governing the park and the precedent of having a library there previously, a new library could go in the park. He said the city is willing to consider different sites as it looks for ways to replace the current branch.
“It’s been a good facility for Bay Village, but we think a new state-of-the-art facility would be appropriate for the citizens of Bay Village given the high level of use of the library by the community,” Koomar said.
Ebert said the Thursday meeting went well.
“I explained the provisions of the Cahoon will and how there are several clauses which provide for having a library in Cahoon Park,” Ebert said. “It was a good, productive meeting.”
Feldman said the library would continue to work with Bay Village officials on the project.
“We look forward to working with Mayor Koomar and City Council to explore the possibility of relocating the Bay Village branch into Cahoon Park,” she said. “With the completion of three final capital projects in Berea, Strongsville and Middleburg Heights over the next year, Bay is the only branch in the Cuyahoga County Public Library system not yet touched by a renovation or replacement. We are grateful to the city for identifying a piece of property that may meet our shared needs for a replacement building and are excited to continue the conversation with Bay Village library cardholders about their needs for exceptional public library service.”