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Residents in eastern Racine County are split about whether or not a new library is needed, and, most importantly, how to pay for it.

State standards for a library with “moderate services” would measure 44,000 square feet, cost nearly $17 million to build and need annual operation costs of $3 million, according to a story in The Journal Times.

An exploratory committee is being formed and will include appointed representatives from each of the communities east of I-94, including Daryl Lynaugh from Sturtevant. Mount Pleasant will also appoint someone.

Library Director Jessica MacPhail told the newspaper that 40 percent of the library’s users come from outside the city. The new branch would most likely get located near the northeast corner of Spring Street and Newman Road.

Debra Mueller on Facebook wrote, “(It) would be nice to have one more centralized for the county of Racine.”

But Nichole Nelson Bohn is happy with the downtown location.

“We visit at least once a week, and I think it’s just fine,” she said.

Here on the Racine County Eye website, readers were also split. Chris posted that a new building has been needed for 40 years, but another reader countered that living in a digital age means a new library isn’t needed.

MacPhail says that she has heard from residents for years about the need for a second library facility.

“I have heard loud and clear from people that they want a second facility,” she is quoted as saying, “and we stand ready and willing to do what officials decide.”

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