GRANDVIEW - It took several months and several drafts, but the city of Grandview and YVCC finally have a working agreement for their joint library project.
Council had to deliberate through yet another study session last night, Tuesday, then continued to hammer out the terms of agreement during its regular session.
The sticking point was that Councilman Mike Bren wanted language in the agreement that recognized Grandview's contribution of $750,000 to the project from a state loan it will have to pay back.
While recognizing the trust and good working relationship between Grandview and YVCC's Grandview campus, Bren noted that at some point one party or the other might want to step away from the agreement. If that happens, he says the city owes it to current and future residents to account for the $750,000 Grandview will put into the $4 million library.
Bren was not alone in his concern, as city attorney Tony Menke observed there is no language in the agreement addressing the physical building now under construction and its ownership.
Menke said if Grandview wanted to add terms that extensively addressed the building then it would require a "quantum shift" from the agreement on the table.
"The whole parameter of this document doesn't speak to the physical plant," he said. "In all candor, nothing speaks to building ownership."
Mayor pro tem Pam Horner countered that it was her understanding the city wanted to get out of the library building business and focus on the joint effort as a way to enhance library services for Grandview residents.
Under the agreement, Grandview is responsible for staffing the library and the college is responsible for building maintenance and computer systems.
Mayor Norm Childress agreed with Horner, noting there has been a longstanding good working relationship with the college built on trust.
Childress added it's also about Grandview honoring its commitments.
"We made the decision that we would be responsible for $750,000 of a $4 million building," he said. "If we say we're going to do it, we need to do it."
Councilman Bill Moore also sided with Horner and noted that even if the city library was elsewhere the city's residents would still be able to use the library on the YVCC Grandview campus. He added that the building is also a long-term investment in Grandview's future.
In the end, Bren joined other council members in approving the agreement last night. That happened after Menke suggested - and council agreed to - a minor change addressing the building's financing and the fact it would eventually come under state ownership as a public college library.
Getting an okay for the eight-page agreement now sets the stage for an even bigger task, developing a contract that spells out policies and procedures for the joint library.
The library building, adjacent to the YVCC Grandview main building on 500 West Main Street, is set to wrap up construction in July.