Palisade library branch looks to find location in downtown

The Mesa County Public Library District soon will begin looking for a new home for its Palisade branch in the downtown Palisade area.

After a 45-minute discussion in executive session, the district’s Board of Trustees unanimously agreed Thursday night to authorize Director Eve Tallman to begin real-estate negotiations to relocate the 3,300-square-foot branch from its current home at 711 Iowa St, which is on the site of the Palisade Civic Center. The branch’s lease at the town-owned property expires May 31, and the library will seek to stay there until a new location is found.

The decision to head downtown would seem to eliminate the possibility of the library moving into the Civic Center, which is roughly eight blocks away from the center of downtown. Library spokesman Bob Kretschman declined to comment Friday on whether the board isn’t interested in the Civic Center or identify other potential sites to which the branch could move.

It’s known, however, the library is considering the former Palisades National Bank building at 305 S. Main St. and the former Tucan Coffee House building at 239 S. Main St.

Town leaders had offered a 5,000-square-foot space inside the Civic Center at a cost of $550,000 to $650,000. But library officials were concerned about how long it might take to complete construction on the Civic Center.

The new owner of Palisades National Bank, which closed the downtown branch earlier this month, has offered the library the space for free for some or all of its six years remaining on the bank’s lease of the building. The library would need to renovate the building, however.

The former Tucan Coffee House, directly across Third Street from the old bank building, is also an option, although town officials have said the building has some structural problems.

Sharon Sample, a volunteer at the Palisade branch, told the Board of Trustees on Thursday night she would prefer to move the branch into the Civic Center.

“The thought of being condensed into less space is quite distressing,” she said. The spaces inside the former bank and coffee buildings are both smaller than the library’s current space.

The library has been renting the Palisade branch space from the town for free for 10 years. It will have to begin paying rent if it wants to stay there any longer.


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