City looks at cost of fixing octagon building

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By Jeff M. Hardison

City Manager Grady Hartzog Sr. was instructed by the Chiefland City Commission at its Dec. 10 meeting to look at the cost of improving the city's octagon-shaped building.

On Oct. 22, the City Commission sought suggestions for how to use the building, which currently sits just north of the fire station. There had been some discussion about moving the building, but as of Dec. 10 the commission wants to leave it where it exists now.

At the Nov. 13 meeting, Friends of Luther Callaway Public Library Treasurer Grace Andersen said this group wants to use the building for selling books to help the library. The Friends would share the building with any civic group that wanted to meet there, she said.

Historically, the building has been used as the Chiefland City Library, Town Hall and the meeting place for the Chiefland Woman's Club. It was once the police department.

It was built in the 1920s, according to a 1982 story in the Chiefland Citizen.

The very first Rural Electric Agency meeting in Chiefland was held in that building, according to that story.

The City Commission did not award the Friends use of the building until it looks at the cost to bring it up to meet building codes. Chiefland Building and Zoning Administrator W.T. "Bill" Hammond Jr. asked if the Levy County Public Library System would pay to improve the building.

Mayor M. Teal Pomeroy laughed at the suggestion, especially considering that Andersen noted the state and federal governments have cut library funding.

The Friends of the Luther Callaway Public Library are a group of volunteers who sell books and have other fund-raisers to help fund the library. Hartzog is going to look at a potential termite control cost, as well as to sandblast and paint the structure.

Pomeroy said to let Andersen know the city is still interested in letting the volunteers use the building to store and sell books. The city wants to determine costs for refurbishing it first.