City commissioners Thursday morning vowed to restart discussions about expanding the Lawrence Public Library, but stopped short of saying they could ultimately support a once-proposed $30 million expansion of the facility.
At a study session with the library's board of trustees, commissioners said they would direct staff members to prepare a detailed report - or a "decision tree" - on what steps would need to be taken to undertake an expansion and put the question to voters in a citywide election.
"I know I'm not willing to just stop the process and pat the library board and staff on the back and say 'Go your merry way and keep doing what you've been doing,'" Mayor Sue Hack said. "You deserve more than that."
Commissioners did not spell out a timeline for the new report, but said it should be sooner rather than later.
John Nalbandian, president of the library board, said he was pleased that city commissioners were once again ready to talk about the project, which had begun to languish after the April City Commission elections.
"The car is moving forward again," said Nalbandian, who had compared the library project to a car idling at an intersection waiting for the driver to pick a direction. "I'm not sure how fast it is moving, but we're pleased that we're moving again."
Commissioners also flirted with the idea of creating the city's first satellite library to help ease the pressure on the 35-year old downtown library. Both Commissioners Mike Dever and Rob Chestnut said that could be an interim solution until the city's finances improve to fund a major downtown expansion. But the other three commissioners said they were concerned the costs for such an interim step may be too high.