OAK PARK : County to Seek Grant to Build Library

Despite concerns about where the operating money will come from, Ventura County supervisors have voted to apply for a $977,300 federal grant to help pay for construction of a new Oak Park library.

If the county is successful in obtaining the grant money, construction of the $2.3-million library could begin by January, 1997, and be completed by the end of that year, county Librarian Dixie Adeniran said.

Without the grant money, she said, groundbreaking on the long-promised library would remain uncertain.

Still, Supervisors Maggie Kildee, Judy Mikels and John K. Flynn all expressed concern Tuesday about where the money would come from to run the library.

A loss in state revenues has forced the county to drastically reduce library hours and to supplement the library budget with $2.3 million in general fund money.

Supervisor Frank Schillo, whose district includes Oak Park, argued that the county should take advantage of the grant as long as the money is available. He said the county was in a good position to receive the grant because it already has the matching money required. More than $1.3 million in developer fees have been set aside for the library.

If the county is awarded the grant, the supervisors said they will ask Adeniran to bring back a plan outlining how the library will be operated.

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