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What is the future of the Commerce City Library?

By Bill Oliver

Commerce, TX –

The Commerce City Council agreed to place two members on a ten-member fact-finding committee that will explore the long-range plans of a city library. City Manager Bill Shipp and the President of Texas A&M University-Commerce, Dr. Keith McFarland, developed the idea after consulting with the city library board.

Shipp said library reserves are being drawn down at a rate where funds will run out in three years. The city currently contributes $75,000 a year. Shipp said any and all ideas would be explored.

The committee will include Mayor Sheryl Zelhart and new councilman Tony Sands, four from the university; Bob Brown, John Jones, Greg Mitchell, and Paul Zelhart, two members of the library board, and representatives of the Commerce school district and Hunt County.

Also at the last council meeting, approval was given to sell two parcels of residential land.

One of the two tracts, an acre and a quarter in a triangle south of the middle school bordered by Farm Road 3218, Harlow, and Mangum, has the interest of councilwoman Billie Biggerstaff. She abstained from voting. Before that lot goes on sale, city staff will make sure there is enough right of way for the future expansion of Harlow, a street currently nine feet wide. The minimum price, a shade over $45,000, is the current tax value. Asked if the city needs that space, Director of Community Development Steve Wilson said the city has owned it since the 1950's and there are no plans for municipal development.

The second lot approved for sale is across highway 11 from the Tyco plant, a half-acre piece of land with a minimum sale price of just over $4,300.

There is the possibility of more going on the market. Wilson said the city owns more parcels that could be sold in the future, all which could add to the property tax rolls.