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Blackwell Discusses Budget And Plans For Southwest Regional Library

A public meeting on the proposed Southwest Regional Library will be held Tuesday.The event is one of Metro Councilman Rick Blackwell's regular meetings with his constituents. Blackwell says library officials will consider comments from the meeting as they put together the final plan for the new facility.That plan will help determine how much money the mayor sets aside for the library in the next city budget, even though all the funds necessary for the project may not be available."[It] works both ways," he says. "The planning affects what it costs and the amount of money you can set aside for it affects how you may have to scale down your plans. There's still a lot of work to be done between now and budget time in how you move forward with it."Blackwell says he's asked Mayor Greg Fischer to follow up on his campaign promise and make the library a priority in the next budget, which will be introduced in the spring."My hope is that we keep moving it along in the process so hopefully this year we'll have the decisions made about what we're going to do and break the ground and get it moving," says Blackwell.The Councilman says the project has taken years to come together, mostly because it's larger and more expensive than other libraries."The Newburg library and the Fairdale library were just new branches, where this is the first of the projected three regional libraries. So it's a whole different ballgame," he says.

Gabe Bullard is the director of news and editorial strategy.