Big Loan Keeps Accomack Library Project on Track - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Big Loan Keeps Accomack Library Project on Track

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Old Fresh Pride location in Parksley, future home of the county library. (Photo: WBOC) Old Fresh Pride location in Parksley, future home of the county library. (Photo: WBOC)

PARKSLEY, Va.- Plans to move the Virginia Eastern Shore Public Library to the old Fresh Pride grocery store location in Parksley have been in the works for a few months now.  However, the town of Parksley recently stepped up with a loan to ensure the project moves forward.

Accomack County had pledged $2 million to the library project. It is a project that in total is estimated to cost about $5 million.  However, the money from the county is not yet available and another potential buyer began to show interest in purchasing the former grocery store property.  To make sure the library plans stayed on track, the Parksley Town Council decided to loan the money to the project so the property can be purchased.  Once the money from Accomack County is available, Parksley would be paid back.

Around Parksley, some neighbors told WBOC they were a little uncomfortable with the town loaning so much money and putting so much faith into the project.  Others, like Jeff Stauffer, believe it was the right move to make for the future of Parksley.

"I think that the elected officials here in town, it is their responsibility to what's in the best interest of the community," said Parksley business owner, Jeff Stauffer.  "And I think the library is in the best interest of the community."

While the $2 million will allow the property to be purchased in Parksley, the library committee in Accomack County still has plenty of fundraising left to do for the project.  The estimated cost of about $5 million will be raised through grants and private donations.  Once the project is complete, the library will be much bigger, in a new 20,000-square-foot-space.  

However, some people in Parksley were curious about just how much use the library would get.  Bonnie Bean Putnam was not one of those people.  Putnam said she is excited for the library to move to Parksley from Accomac.

"I understand where people are coming from with libraries.  With the internet and everything else that's available technology-wise.  But I think the Eastern Shore can use the library.  I think it's going to be a benefit," Putnam said.

Only time will tell how much of an impact the library has in Parksley.  Until then, the top priority is securing the old Fresh Pride location to begin the project.

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