James Johnson, Jr., Chair
900 North Ashley Drive
Tampa, Florida 33602
James Martin, Jr., Vice-Chair
William Scheuerle, Secretary
Phone: (813) 273-3660
Fax: (813) 273-3707
Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library Board
MINUTES FROM THE AUGUST 30, 2001 SPECIAL CALL PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD MEETING
BUCKHORN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 6-9pm
- CALL TO ORDER:
The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. A quorum was present.
- ROLL CALL AND ATTENDANCE OF STAFF & SPECIAL GUESTS:
Library Board Members Present:
William Scheuerle, Anniece Ross
Sandra Cameron, Mary Sherman
Mary Silver, Helen Swisshelm
Kay O'Rourke, Laura Vickers
Library Board Excused:
Library Board Absent:
Dora Reeder, Alma Hires
Library Staff Present:
Joe Stines, Director of Libraries
David Wullschleger, Manager Operations & Technology
Suzanne George, Facilities Coordinator
Jackie Zebos, Administrative Librarian
Virginia Zurfliech, Site Coordinator, Brandon Regional Library
Jason Biggers, Automated Services Department
Mike Kelly, Director, Real Estate Department
Bob Gordon, County Engineer, Public Works Department
Mike McCarthy, County Traffic Engineer
- COMMITTEE REPORTS:
Report from the Policies and Bylaws Committee on the recommendation for renaming the Peninsular Library - Chairman, Anniece Ross stated the committee was asked by Commissioner Chris Hart to consider renaming the Peninsular Library the Charles J. Fendig Public Library. Ms. Ross stated that the committee had reviewed the request and determined that it met the criteria of the Library Board's Naming Policy. The committee made the recommendation to rename the Peninsular Library the Charles J. Fendig Public Library. The Library Board approved the recommendation unanimously.
- PRESENTATIONS FROM THE PUBLIC/SPECIAL GUESTS:
Dr. Scheuerle then asked for public comment on the South Brandon site stating that all speakers would be limited to a maximum of three minutes.
Linda Wernick - spoke in favor of the Bloomingdale site, stating she would very much like to see a library added to the beautiful facilities we already have on Bloomingdale Ave. …the high school, Tampa YMCA, shopping areas, and the ball field. She would very much like the library to be the focal point of this community and would like the county planners to envision the Bloomingdale site as a place that has room for cultural growth in the South Brandon area.
(Laura Vickers arrived)
Rhonda Scott - Representative from the Mullein Communities, Project Manager of Fish Hawk Ranch restated the offer to donate land for a library either now or in the future.
Kim Lee -spoke in favor of the Bloomingdale site, stating that with the addition of the YMCA, she would like to see a library added to the site close to Bloomingdale high school. "We need a facility for our kids to be able to walk to, not only the YMCA but a new library." It needs to be close and would be a focal point for the area. Having the library on Bloomingdale would create a triangle effect with the schools, the YMCA, and the library.
Barbara Attreberry - spoke on behalf of the Bloomingdale site, stating "this is an established community not a "too be" community with the largest population of children in Hillsborough County."
Ellen Gates - spoke in favor of the Bloomingdale site stating that she supported all that had been said. "Placing the library on the Bloomingdale Ave. site will give a very positive focus for our community, along with the high school, the YMCA, and the ball park." Ms. Gates would like to encourage increased library programming for teens.
William Perry - President of the Lithia Ridge Homeowners Assoc. Mr. Perry spoke in favor of the Lithia site, stating that the Lithia Pinecrest site is located in a much less congested area with less commercial development than the Bloomingdale site. It is not difficult to reach; it's quiet and conducive to a library site. The traffic created by the Bloomingdale high school events will add to the traffic congestion on Bloomingdale Ave. People in the Lithia Pinecrest area are very receptive and will welcome the library.
Kevin Lynch - spoke in favor of the Bloomingdale site, stating that this was a change from fighting to keep things out of the neighborhood to fighting to have them in the neighborhood. Mr. Lynch made the following points: the terms have changed, there is more property, and the cost of the property is substantially different, and it is centrally located to the density of the population.
Brian Stayton - spoke in favor of the Lithia site stating that it is the best site, presents the best value, and responds to what the Board is looking for.
Claude Fortin - President of the Riverhills Homeowners Assoc. Mr. Fortin spoke in support of the Lithia site.
Mary Cardenis - spoke in favor of the Lithia site, stating that it would develop a core group of people who would support the library.
Don Fairburn - spoke in behalf of the Lithia site; stating that from 1993 to 1997 he was the School Resource Officer at Bloomingdale High School. He stated that the students would be at the site before, during, and after school and that neither the Resource Officers nor the school administrators would be able to control them unless they break the law.
Patricia Horner - spoke in favor of the Lithia site stating that placing the library next to the high school will cause parking problems.
Denise Guido - spoke in favor of the Lithia site stating that in the past five years the Fish Hawk Trails development has built about 230 homes with another 200 planned. Fish Hawk Ranch has built approximately 500 homes with 5,000 planned to be built within the next 15 years. There is also another development of 350 homes being planned off of Boyette Rd. This area is being called one of the fastest growing areas of the county.
Angelina Stayton - spoke in favor of the Lithia site, stating that based upon the public support shown at past meetings the Library Board had decided to recommend the Lithia site.
Linda Buzzby - spoke in favor of the Lithia site, stating that safety, in terms of traffic and congestion, should be considered and that the Lithia site would provide adequate parking.
Dr. Scheuerle asked the audience to limit their comments and if they felt that someone else had echoed their feelings that the Board would appreciate it if they would give up their chance to speak due to the time constraints.
Leo Mashme - spoke in favor of the Lithia site stating that he firmly believed it to be the best site.
Mark Simms - spoke in favor of the Lithia site stating that because of all the activities around the school he preferred the Lithia site.
Becky Ann Ross - presented to the Library Board another site for consideration located at 10003 Myrtle Road and stated that it would support eight schools.
Tom Honer - spoke in favor of the Lithia stating that the driving distance would be four miles from the Brandon Library and that the Lithia site would be more centrally located for the citizens from Keysville, Bealsville, and Fort Lonesome.
Rodney Biddle - spoke in favor of the Bloomingdale site stating that the site is larger, and is closer to the South Brandon area and that it makes more sense to put the library where there are more people.
Ed Rice - spoke in favor of the Bloomingdale site and stated that the traffic has not been a severe problem and with the addition of the median and turn lanes it would be much safer.
Todd Schlemmer - spoke in favor of the Lithia site stating that both sites would benefit the residents but that the Board should consider what is of the most benefit for the dollar and how much more of the community would be served at the Lithia site.
Larry Hough - spoke in favor of the Bloomingdale site stating that the retired and elderly would be better served by the Bloomingdale site.
Sheila Burg - spoke in favor of the Bloomingdale site stating that this site is more centrally located and that there are enough people to warrant two libraries.
Melanie Palmer - spoke in favor of the Bloomingdale site stating that Lithia Pinecrest Rd. is a two-lane country road without traffic lights and is not slated for widening.
Lori McClain - spoke in favor of the Lithia site stating that no matter where the library is sited, it is needed. The Lithia site would be easier for the Spanish speaking and lower income children to go to.
Dennis Philby - spoke in favor of the Bloomingdale site stating that it offers the most for the money, is closer to schools, and has more population to support it.
Jim Hardy - spoke in favor of the Lithia site stating that the Bloomingdale site is too close and too late. The Lithia site is just right.
William Stromburg - spoke in favor of the Bloomingdale site citing its proximity and the location of its surroundings.
Ted Grable - President of the Bloomingdale Homeowners Assoc. spoke in favor of the Bloomingdale site stating that they want to build communities around cores; where municipal services are. A library needs to be put where it fits the best and that is within the community of South Brandon.
Len Jazsack - spoke in favor of the Bloomingdale site stating that the traffic on Bloomingdale will change once the construction is completed.
Maria Rodriguez - spoke in favor of the Lithia site stating that the cost of the two sites would be comparable.
Mark Oppenshaw - spoke in favor of the Lithia site stating that the Board should take into consideration the costs of each site.
Dr. Scheuerle thanked the speakers, and introduced Mike Kelly, Director, Real Estate Department.
Mr. Kelly stated that on July 11 the Board of County Commissioners directed him to explore the feasibility of securing a site within the Fish Hawk development. Fish Hawk has made a written offer for a site that would accommodate a 25,000-sq. ft. building. The BOCC then directed him to explore the additional acre of land at the Bloomingdale site; the contract has been amended to include the additional land. Mr. Kelly also met with the owners of the Lithia property and updated that contract. Both contracts are ready for consideration by the County Commissioners.
Dr. Scheuerle introduced Bob Gordon, Public Works Department. Mr. Gordon stated that the BOCC also directed him to look at two issues so that his comments and those of Mr. Mike McCarthy, County Traffic Engineer, would be focused on transportation and stormwater.
The Public Works Department commissioned an analysis by CH2M Hill to look at those two factors. An excerpt from that study was distributed to the audience and the Library Board. Mr. Gordon stated that the Lithia site had existing stormwater facilities. The Bloomingdale site will require approximately a half-acre pond. Estimated costs for each site were included on the handout.
Mr. McCarthy stated that the analysis, which the traffic engineer had done, was somewhat limited in scope however, it was consistent with what was requested. They did look at the review of the adjacent public service of the roadways, traffic counts, and trip generation projections, based on the plans that were provided for the two sites and the facilities. Included in the report are the engineer's opinion and a qualitative site analysis, as well as projections for current traffic, projected future projects as far as the expanded capacity of Bloomingdale and also the current capacity on Lithia Pinecrest Rd. There is some difference in what is projected given the two lane capacity versus the four-lane capacity. Mr. McCarthy stated that level of service was not a significant difference in terms of what was projected as level of service impacts on the two roadways by the facility at either site.
Considerations listed were in terms of safety - each site operates at a level of service A or B for the adjacent roadways, access should be safe in relative terms at either location. Average speed is higher given the rural versus urban surroundings, making resultants from any collision potentially more severe on the Lithia Pinecrest site. The overall opinion for each site is fairly equal in terms of safety. The engineering feasibility felt that the Bloomingdale site would have a significant advantage in terms of simplified construction and design since the new construction in the area would give the designers known factors to work with. Bloomingdale traffic volumes are projected to be higher however; the impact of the site on either roadway would be relatively neutral although the impact on Bloomingdale would be slightly more severe than on Lithia Pinecrest.
Site exposure - the Bloomingdale site offers more exposure for use of the facility given the trips (cars) that would be traveling past the facility. Location of complimentary land uses was a major factor in the final recommendation. The adjacent complimentary land uses are significant at the Bloomingdale site with the Bloomingdale High School, the new YMCA site, and the South Brandon soccer/baseball fields. The Lithia site is located in close proximity to the Lithia Pinecrest Elementary School. Overall both sites are fairly equal in regard to the safe access from construction and effectiveness point of view. The engineer's recommendation and opinion is that the Bloomingdale site is a better candidate. Given all the factors that was their final recommendation.
Dr. Scheuerle asked whether the Library Director, Joe Stines had any comments. Mr. Stines responded that based on this information, he and his staff would recommend the Bloomingdale site because of the visibility. He went on to say that they feel the density of the population is crucial. With the new population of Brandon Regional the current five-mile radius population is 185,943; Bloomingdale is 129, 135; and Lithia is 84,000.
Mr. Stines has some concern about SUV parking at the Lithia site since 15% of the 193 parking spaces have to be the small ones.
Dr. Scheuerle asked for a motion and a second as well as open discussion about whether to accept or deny the motion.
Anniece Ross moved that the Library Board rescind their previous recommendation of Lithia Pinecrest and send the Board of County Commissioners a recommendation for the Bloomingdale site. Helen Swisshelm seconded the motion.
Discussion followed. Ms. Ross asked Mr. Gordon about the channelization of traffic on the two sites. Mr. Gordon responded that in order to improve the access to the Bloomingdale site and to minimize conflicts, a channelized left turn lane from east bound Bloomingdale Ave., turning north into the site would be best. This would prevent traffic inside the library site having additional conflicts of people turning in the middle of the median. To go to the east you would go to the west entrance of the library site. At the Lithia site, since it is not a divided roadway, you would not have the opportunity to channelize but you would have an extended left turn lane onto Little Road with full access coming out in either direction.
Dr. Scheuerle stated that some of the citizens commented about the high school students parking in the library lot and asked if Mr. Gordon had any plans on how to prohibit that. Mr. Gordon stated that Mr. Stines has come across this problem at other libraries where he has installed a gate at the library entrance and has had success in controlling the parking lot. Mr. Stines stated that at the Seminole Heights Library which, is close to Hillsborough High School, with the security guard and the fact that the school hours are different we have been able to work it out. At other locations, there are gates for other reasons. Gates have worked since they are opened when the library opens, and are closed when the library closes.
Mr. McCarthy stated that his department had contacted the school district about alternate access routes that would utilize the existing driveways at the high school site. They were not interested in any co-use of driveway facilities or connections that would allow the ease of parking or travel through the two sites. Mr. McCarthy feels that the school district makes a concerted effort to keep that from being a problem. On the other site, the bulk of the problems relative to traffic tend to be around elementary schools with drop-off traffic occurring and people parking in order to walk their children to the school in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon. He did notice that there seems to be some propensity now for spill over parking to occur at the proposed library site. Mr. Stines stated that he has made several visits to that site and each time he has observed that problem and he has concerns about parking spill over.
Dr. Scheuerle commented that someone stated the Board doesn't know what the land adjacent to the Bloomingdale site would be used for and asked if there was a comparable problem at the other site. Someone from the audience stated that a day care center was to be built there. Ms. Ross stated that it was her understanding that the library would be one story but that there was approval on the adjacent site to build up to a 30 foot high building that would cut the visibility on Lithia.
Ms. Vickers asked whether there was any public transportation serving either area. Israel Grajales, Architectural Services, stated that currently there is no public transportation but that in the future Hartline will be adding a line going to the high school.
Ms. Swisshelm commented that she has been on this Board for eleven years and outside of the decisions regarding the filtering of the Internet and a millage increase this was the hardest decision she has had to participate in. When the Board meet a month ago there was a large contingency from Lithia and there were two people from Bloomingdale. Tonight we had 14 in favor of Bloomingdale, 17 for Lithia, one for Fish Hawk and one for a third site. The cost of the land, getting 7.3 acres for $265,000 versus 4.54 acres for $550,000 is a very important issue. Another factor is the visibility of the Bloomingdale site. Having heard from both sides equally, she planned to vote in favor of the Bloomingdale site.
Ms. O'Rourke commented that she didn't want the Board to forget that there is a beautiful piece of property in Fish Hawk that can be possibly used in the very near future. These decisions impact so many families, children, the elderly and the whole community so that you can't very well zero in on just one factor or two you have too look at the whole picture. "I assure you that we are here to work with the community not work against you," said Ms. O'Rourke.
Dr. Scheuerle stated that the outcome of the Board's decision is a new library in South Brandon and that all of us should be proud that South Brandon is going to have a new library.
Ms. Cameron stated that one of the reasons she is thrilled to serve on this Board is that she believes in free public libraries. "I never dreamed that there would be this many people, this interested, and fighting over a library," said Ms. Cameron.
Dr. Scheuerle restated the motion: to rescind their previous recommendation that was made to the Board of County Commissioners and in its stead to recommend the Bloomingdale site as the site for the South Brandon Library. The vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.
Dr. Scheuerle thanked everyone who attended.
Meeting adjourned at 8:30pm
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