WEST MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — On November 21, 2022, the police jury will meet to discuss the approval of a new building and parking lot for the main branch of the Ouachita Parish Library. According to officials, making a new building would be more cost-efficient than renovating the current library.

Shane Smiley with the Ouachita Parish Police Jury spoke with us and gave his input on potentially approving this project. “Under my name on the agenda I have an item for discussion and action amongst the jurors to vote to purchase property for a new library after a number of years of us looking at the possibility of renovating the main branch, and with the increasing cost of renovation, renovating, buildings are building a new building. we feel after after discussing this with their architect, this is the best route for us to go.”

Smiley also mentions how renovations would increase property taxes and a new building would be the better alternative to avoid this: “property taxes are not going to increase. preliminary architectural numbers given to us that projected that to renovate the main branch where it says today on 18th Street was in cost somewhere in the neighborhood of seven to seven and a half million dollars. The purchase price of the building that we will vote on tonight is $2.865 million. And we’ve had discussions with the architect who believes that we can renovate this building for somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 million. So right off the top we’re seeing about a million dollar savings in terms of renovating this library.”

Once a decision has been made, we will provide an update at myarklamiss.com.