New Library Branch on Hold in Wicomico County - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

New Library Branch on Hold in Wicomico County

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View inside the Wicomico Public Library's main branch in downtown Salisbury. (Photo: WBOC) View inside the Wicomico Public Library's main branch in downtown Salisbury. (Photo: WBOC)

WICOMICO COUNTY, Md. - Plans to build a new branch of the Wicomico Public Library to better serve residents on the east side of the county have been put on hold.

Each year, Wicomico County leaders put together a Capital Improvement Plan.  The plan essentially serves as a to-do list of projects that need to be started, worked on, or finished up over the next five years.

In the Capital Improvement Plan for Wicomico County that begins in the 2017 fiscal year, there is no money listed for the library project.  According to the CIP, the total cost of the project is $12 million with the county responsible for $1.2 million.  The state of Maryland would be responsible for the remainder of the bill.  However, the CIP explains while the project is something the county wants to do, the funding commitment from the state of Maryland is not in place so the county will not be putting forth money toward the project at this time.

Not only would the new building have served as an east-side branch of the library, it would have also served as the headquarters for the Eastern Shore Regional Library staff.  WBOC spoke with officials from the ESRL on Monday who said the project was something they believed was necessary because it gives more library access to folks who cannot make the trip to the Pittsville branch or the main library in downtown Salisbury.

ERSL officials told WBOC on Monday that the project was still in its early stages, so there was no official spot picked out for the new branch.  But library officials did say it would be somewhere close to Salisbury, north and east of Route 50.  WBOC visited neighbors in that area today.  Some were disappointed the project would not be moving forward while other believe there are other things that would better serve their neighborhood.

"I think I'd rather see a post office.  A substation of a post office here.  Make it convenient for people so they won't have to go downtown or on Route 13," said neighbor Alan Fritch.

According to the CIP, the project has been indefinitely deferred from the FY2017 Capital Improvement Plan and the county's schedule of projects.

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