Library Director: Downtown Midland County Library is Not Moving

by Anayeli Ruiz 
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Is the Midland County Library about to leave downtown Midland? Rumors are flying across the Tall City but County officials are saying not so fast.

"The library isn't moving," Midland Library Director, John Trischitti, said.

The phone in the Midland County Judge's Office has been ringing off the hook. Residents are asking if the Midland County Library is about to move from downtown to an old department store off Loop 250. Judge Mike Bradford says the rumors aren't true and all the confusion started after two announcements were made at Monday's Commissioner's Court meeting.

"There are two distinct transactions, they are not dependent on each other, they are totally independent of each other," Midland County Judge, Mike Bradford, said.

Judge Bradford says the two items on Monday's agenda are about two separate library projects. The first agenda item was about putting the downtown library location up for auction.

"The reason we took that language is we have had a number or inquiries from developers and other interested parties about the property but counties cannot deal one on one. They have to be able to deal with everyone on the same terms and you do that either by a sealed bid or public auction," Bradford said.

The next agenda item was about purchasing the old Mervyn's building off of Loop 250 so the small Wadley (Centennial) Branch could be expanded.

"We had been on a long discussion and looked for a property to expand the branch at Wadley. In that discussion, numbers of properties had been eliminated because they were bought. So when we heard this property was available, we took steps to secure it for the County," Bradford said.

The County preciously set aside money to buy a new building so the current budget will not affect the project.  Judge Bradford says that in the meantime the County will keep a library downtown and try and expand the north side location.

"I think part of the confusion comes because the way we have to agendize stuff in a public meeting and all this is done in the public view. We have to put all liked kind items in the same categories so that's how they got mixed and mingled," Bradford said.

The County hopes to have an announcement on the auctions sometime in August. In the meantime, they hope that the project off Loop 250 clears through.