April 29, 2017

MESSAGE FROM COMMISSIONER CONNIE HUDSON Semmes Public Library Update

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Commissioner Connie Hudson

Commissioner Connie Hudson

Commissioner Connie Hudson

MESSAGE FROM COMMISSIONER CONNIE HUDSON

Semmes Public Library Update

The future of the Semmes Public Library housed in the CVS Health owned building at 9150 Moffett Road has been an issue for over two months now (Click Here to view the previous Semmes Library update in the March 17, 2017 District 2 e-newsletter). Negotiations have been on-going between Mobile County and CVS to reach consensus on an acceptable purchase offer or a new reduced-rent lease agreement. The current library lease expires on September 30, 2017 and CVS has been given legal notice that the county will not renew the lease under the present terms.

In recent weeks, discussions reached a point where CVS agreed to accept a reduced rental fee of $5,000 per month (approximately half of the current rate) but would not sell the property for five years and would not agree to apply the rent paid during that period toward the purchase price.

 Last week, the county received notification from CVS that they would agree to sell the property immediately and would entertain a purchase offer of $1.3 million (the appraised purchase value according to David Bell of M.D. Bell Co., Inc.).

To address the fairness issue raised by my fellow commissioners in regard to the overall funding allocation received by the Semmes Public Library from the County relative to other county libraries; while also recognizing the fact that the Semmes Library is a large regional library serving thousands of citizens in the western area of the county, I am proposing the following agreement between the Mobile County Commission and the City of Semmes:
  • Mobile County will continue indefinitely allocating $162,000 per year in Semmes Library operational funding, and for a two-year period will also pay all water/sewer and electrical costs (approximately $30,000 per year) for the library.
  • The City of Semmes will purchase the Semmes Library property from CVS Health immediately and assume maintenance responsibilities on the property.
The Mayor and Semmes City Council voted during a special called meeting on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 by resolution “to authorize negotiations with the Mobile County Commission, the Mobile Public Library, and CVS Pharmacy, Inc. toward the end of acquiring the CVS/Semmes Branch Library property for continued operation of the MPL Semmes Branch in joint-occupancy with the City of Semmes government.” Mayor David Baker has instructed Semmes City Attorney, Chris Arledge, to negotiate a final purchase agreement with CVS.

Once a final agreement is reached on the property purchase, I will propose a resolution to the County for a Memorandum of Understanding between Mobile County and the City of Semmes to codify the proposed operations and utilities agreement.

Many thanks to the City of Semmes, the County Commission and the citizens of Semmes and surrounding communities whose dedication and persistence have helped to encourage a positive resolution to ensure a permanent home for the Semmes Public Library. I will continue to keep you updated.

Warmest Regards,
Have a wonderful weekend!
Connie

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