Library offered space in Palisade

The new owner of Palisades National Bank is willing to lease the shuttered bank branch in downtown Palisade for free to the Mesa County Public Library District, an offer that could benefit the library and an area many say is sorely in need of foot traffic.

Community Bank Partners founder and Chief Executive Officer Scott Jackson told town trustees last week he would be happy to make the space available for some or all of the six years remaining on the bank’s lease of the building at 305 S. Main St.

The library currently leases from the town a 3,300-square-foot branch on the three-acre site of the old Palisade High School. Town leaders are trying to coax the library to move into a 5,000-square-foot space inside the school, which the town is in the process of converting into a civic center.

The cost of the new branch could range from $550,000 to $650,000.

The town has offered lower construction costs and a 7,000-square-foot gymnasium completed last summer as a carrot to the library. But library officials haven’t bitten, noting they’re wrestling with other capital-construction ideas and expressing concern about how long it will take to complete construction on the civic center.

“The library is looking at its options in Palisade and hasn’t made a decision on that,” library spokesman Bob Kretschman said Friday.

The library’s board of trustees must make up its mind soon because the Palisade branch’s lease expires May 31.

Town Trustee Dave Edwards told Jackson that while his first choice is to locate the library in the civic center, “given the needs of downtown, you couldn’t come up with a better second choice.”

A number of businesses in downtown have closed in recent months. A library branch could inject life back into the area.

“The initial plan to put the library in the civic center was a desire of ours, but there are also advantages to the downtown location to the community as well as to the library,” Town Administrator Tim Sarmo said.


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