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More negotiations coming for Portage County and Stevens Point over library


STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) -- More negotiations lie ahead about the issues involving the Portage County Library and it’s City of Stevens Point owned building.

The Portage County Library moved into the building with a 20-year lease from the city in 1991. That lease had the county picking up operational costs repair costs under $2,000. The county offered to go to $5,000. The city would rather give the county $100,000 towards repairs and turn the building over to the county, as many other municipalities have done. The building needs over half a million in upgrades and repairs.

Mayor Andrew Halverson says the recently formed negotiations committee has a lot to talk about. Halverson said Friday, “We haven’t talked in months. This will be the first meeting that we’ve had officially with their newly-formed official library negotiations committee that we’ve had since they’ve done so.”

Like before, Halverson believes the city’s taxpayers should not be paying both city taxes and county taxes to maintain the library system when taxpayers outside of the city just pay one tax.  “The city has some pretty important points that I think they will be raising to the county. When you look at the way in which a lot of other county-run and consolidated library systems operate, we are an anomaly. I don’t think that’s fair to the residents of the city and the taxpayers specifically of the city. They also pay a great deal in county taxes.”

The negotiations committee met back on the 15th, and no new meeting dates are posted, leaving the library’s future in limbo.