Sartell Library Talks Come To A Halt
SARTELL -- The pursuit of a Great River Regional Library branch in Sartell has come to a standstill, at least for the immediate future.
Talks between the Sartell City Council and the Great River Regional Library board have not been going as hoped as plans for the proposed community center began to take shape.
During last (Monday) night's city council meeting the board and GRRL officials met to discuss the issues at hand.
Current community center plans have the city creating a 2,100 square foot "learning and innovation center," which is different than a Great River Regional Library branch.
GRRL Board President Mark Bromenschenkel says the board does support a library branch in Sartell, but the current community center site is not an option.
"I think there is good support from the board overall for having a Great River branch here in Sartell, it's just the location of the proposed community center is not acceptable to the board because of distance and other reasons," says Bromenschenkel.
The community center site is roughly 7 minutes away from the Waite Park branch and 12 minutes from the St. Cloud location, which GRRL Executive Director Karen Pundsack says goes against their branch development policy.
"The requirement is that branches be 15 minutes apart or they serve a larger purpose by being a larger hub facility," says Pundsack.
Last week, the GRRL board voted to discontinue talks for a future Sartell GRRL branch until minimum requirements are met, and that the current community center is not an option regardless of the space provided.
However, the board is willing to bring a branch to either city hall, or Bernicks Arena, which sits 9 minutes away from the Waite Park branch.
Sartell residents have spoken up about their frustrations of not getting the library they voted for. Sartell Friends of the Library spokesperson Nancy Van Erp has stated "the city would be missing out on a great opportunity by not bringing a GRRL branch to the area."
Sartell Mayor Sarah Jane Nicoll says the city is still willing to work with GRRL but feels Great River needs time to finish their assessment plan before more discussion takes place.
After further conversation, the city council voted 4-1 in favor of ending any library talks as a council.