Proposal request approved for old library

Christine Stephenson/The Herald
Christine Howard, left, and Leeah Mahon, who both work for the Jasper Public Library, move books Tuesday so they can be transported to the library's new location at the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center, which is set to open to the public this month.


JASPER — The old Jasper Public Library building is in the initial steps of becoming a new property.

The Jasper Redevelopment Commission met Tuesday and approved the request to pursue proposals for the block where the old library was located — 1116 Main St. — before it moved to the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center. 

The property is the city’s, City Attorney Renee Kabrick said, so it must now determine what it will be used for. 

“As this is truly a redevelopment of property, we thought that it would be appropriate for the redevelopment commission to be the body that leads on this project," Kabrick said in the meeting.

The city has already been contacted by several businesses about the property.

“The contact that we’ve received, or at least some of the nudges that we’ve received, have been for pretty specific uses,” Kabrick said. “I think this request for proposal is more general, and it’s going to request that the developer identify a use and how they would develop that whole block.”

The library’s new location within the cultural center is almost finished and ready for the public. A few truckloads of books and media still need to be transported, but the cultural center is set to have a soft open this month.

The commission also:

• Heard from Mayor Dean Vonderheide that there is a potential buyer for the former Ditto Sales building at the Y intersection of U.S. 231 and State Road 56. “The hope is that that will be a privately developed area [and] then the city will not have to spend any resources, time, money,” he said.

• Heard that Heart of Jasper is planning to move forward with a facade grant program. The city would sponsor a certain dollar amount up to $50,000 to the group, and then property owners in the downtown area would be able to apply for those funds to help with facade improvements in 2021.

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