Weather Forecast


Atwater library and senior dining program will move

ATWATER -- New homes have been found for the Atwater library and senior dining program.

In action Wednesday, the Atwater City Council agreed to rent space for the library in half of the old Tom Thumb store on U.S. Highway 12.

The city will pay $600 a month for rent and pay utilities. The move is expected to be completed by May 1 and could be a temporary home until a permanent location is found.

The city will construct a room inside the community center building for the senior dining program.

The council was eager to move the library and senior dining program out of its current location in downtown Atwater because of degrading conditions in the old, two-story brick building. Exterior bricks from the building had been falling off, causing safety concerns.

"We have got to get out of that other building," said Councilman Dale Tagtow in an interview Thursday.

When the community center was built, there was space designated on the Fire Department side of the structure for city offices. Tagtow said a room will be built in that space for the senior dining program "as quickly as possible."

Tagtow said the owner of the old Tom Thumb building will make some minor renovations before the library is moved there.

The other half of the building houses a liquor store. Tagtow said there's been no negative feedback from the community about the library sharing a building with a liquor store. He said the current library was next door to a liquor store for 25 years in downtown Atwater.

"It's not forever. We're going to try it for a year," said Tagtow.

Tagtow said the council will continue to look at the possibility of renovating the historic Hotel Atwater for future city use, including the library. The building is owned by Sue Meyerson who wrote a letter to the city offering to meet with the council privately to discuss a potential deal.

Tagtow said the council is interested in that option "if it can become affordable." The council will continue to search for grants that could be used to offset the renovation costs at the Atwater Hotel.

In other action the council:

- Was informed that the Fire Department recently toured the Bushmills Ethanol plant as part of a safety plan.

- Was informed the fire board would meet March 8 to finalize payments for the new fire truck.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

(320) 894-9750