Posted: Friday, March 15th 2013 at 6:42am
Hall Commission okays money for Clermont gym renovation
By B.J. Williams Editor
Clermont Mayor James Nix (center) talks with county officials about the next step in the gym renovation
GAINESVILLE - Saying it wasn't exactly the facility his town had hoped for, Clermont Mayor James Nix said he was still thankful for the $487,520 Hall County will spend on renovation of the old Clermont gymnasium, so that it can serve as a proper library.
Clermont and Hall County became embroiled in a dispute in 2009 when the commission approved funding for a library and recreation center on Nopone Road in north Hall County. Clermont contended the library had been promised to their town, and at one point, filed suit against the county.
After the dust settled, volunteers who still wanted closer access to a library began to use the old Clermont gymnasium as a makeshift library and history center, using donated books and materials to operate.
With the money for renovation, Nix said the facility will have more of the services of a traditional library.
"We'll have one room there that is dedicated to library space, maybe for a media center type [space], put some more books back there," said Nix. "Then the other part of it, just have a meeting type room where you can have programs and things like this."
Renovation should begin shortly with completion expected by August. Nix said he wanted to see the project finished well in advance of Clermont Days in September.
The money for the renovation will come from SPLOST revenue orginally designated for a facility in the area, according to the commission.
The vote to approve the funding was 4-1, with Commissioner Billy Powell opposed, calling the issuing of the money a "redundant expenditure."
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