The New Castle Record

Library seeks grant for renovations

Renovations could potentially be in the works for the Craig County Public Library.

Library Director Carla Old and President Linda Calderon spoke at the Thursday, Feb. 4 Craig County Board of Supervisors meeting. The two updated the board regarding ongoing library services, and presented their vision for the library.

Currently, according to Old and Calderon, the library serves the community by providing access to digital technology, supporting distance learning and workforce development, promoting early literacy and lifelong learning, enhancing local tourism and improving the local economy, as well as supporting local businesses with resources for professional growth.

The board passed a resolution to submit a letter of interest acquiring a Community Development Block Grant for expansion. If the library were to receive the grant, which awards up to $30,000, the county would not be required to match any funds.

“First, you have to see what the public wants,” said County Administrator Clay Goodman. “You don’t want to under build and you don’t want to overbuild.

The grant was recommended at the November meeting, and would be in compliance with the Craig County Comprehensive Plan from Aug. 12, 2013. At 750 square feet, the library is currently one of the smallest in the state.

“We have an expansion committee that we’ve set up,” Calderon said. “We’ve been working very diligently to see what the possibilities are. We have done community surveys asking people what they would like to see. We’ve visited a lot of other libraries in the area to see what they consisted of and how they are different than ours.”

The library’s vision is to become a recognized Virginia Workforce Development Center, improve their collection of media and technology, expand learning space, make the space welcoming for citizens with disabilities, provide technology outreach classes to senior citizens, enhance the community’s connection with historical and cultural resources, and celebrate the arts, tourism enhancement and subsequent economic benefits.

Board expresses concern with navigable streams

Also at the meeting, Craig County resident Charles Barnes requested a resolution concerning the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC), which has declared the stream bottoms of Johns Creek, Barbours Creek and Potts Creek as state owned.

The VMRC recently re-evaluated 14 streams across 13 counties in Virginia, and has declared them as navigable. The three streams affected in Craig County are now considered owned by the state of Virginia rather than privately owned by deed of record landowners, because their watersheds exceed five square miles.

“This has a lot of implications in a lot of different ways,” Barnes said. “It’s a definite violation of privacy. The stream runs by by backdoor, and it’s open to the public.”

According to the proposed resolution, the VMRC held no public hearing prior to its ruling. The proposed resolution requested that the board ask Delegate Greg Habeeb and Senator Stephen Newman to introduce or support legislation during the General Assembly session rescinding the decision. However, according to Goodman, it is too late to make a request for the current session. Goodman said he will write a letter requesting more information, and will modify the draft of the resolution.

“One of the concerns is the taking of private property, and the fact that under the previous law, they owned the stream bed,” Goodman said. “Now, with the new definition, they’d don’t. I know that this board in the past has been protective of private property rights.”

In other news:

• Phyllis Sizer of the electoral board updated the supervisors. At the January meeting, Sizer requested the board approve moving the Marshalls Store Precinct to Bethel United Methodist Church. However, the board was unable to move the location for the March 1 primary, and Sizer said the store no longer has utilities. The board is requesting an emergency move for the March 1 election from the state board of elections. After March 1, Bethel United Methodist Church will be the voting location for those voters.

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