Closure of Mills Branch Library Is ‘Not a Done Deal’
Natrona County Public Library and Town of Mills officials still want to find a way to not shutter the Mills branch next year.
“It’s not a done deal yet,” Board of Trustees President Hampton O’Neill said in a prepared statement from the library.
The board recently voted to close the Bob Goff Memorial Library Branch, 425 Morgan Ave., because of a staff shortage throughout the library system, a decline in its use, its closeness to the main library in Casper, and cuts in service including closing Sundays that did not do enough to curb costs.
The closure would be effective March 29.
Last week, Hampton and the library's executive director Lisa Scroggins told the Natrona County Commission of the board's decision.
The board also sent a formal notice to the Town of Mills announcing its intention to terminate a 2005 Library Operations Agreement and renegotiate a new agreement.
Under the terms of the 2005 agreement, the library system covers operating costs. Under a separate agreement, the town provides the building, insurance and utilities.
Scroggins said she and the board want to meet with Mills' officials and last week sent a proposal to Mayor Seth Coleman of returning to a cost-sharing arrangement similar to the previous agreement, but they're open to alternative solutions.
Coleman said the library was a municipal library until 2005 when the arrangement with the library system began.
The notice of termination was the last communication Coleman said he's received from the board of trustees, but there may be some correspondence he hasn't seen during the holidays.
A lot of people have contacted the town and Coleman plans to hold a special meeting in January to listen to what they want, he said. "We're open to anything."
Scroggins said she and the board want to meet with the Mills Town Council. "It is entirely possible that together we can prevent a branch closure."