The Athens-Limestone Library Foundation is asking for $60,000 over the next three years from the City of Athens and Limestone County with plans to purchase the old Kroger building on South Jefferson Street and renovate it into a new public library.

Members of the library board came before the Limestone County Commission Monday asking the county to adopt a resolution in support of the project. They said they were also going to ask the Athens City Council to share in the project. They did not, however, go before the council, which was in work session Monday night.

The foundation is proposing that the city and county pay the interest on money it would have to borrow to purchase the Kroger building. The building, owned by a man in Cullman, expected to cost some $900,000.

Foundation members estimated Monday that the interest would be $20,000 per year for fiscal years 2008 through 2010, or a total of $60,000. They are seeking $30,000 each from the city and county.

Library officials told commissioners they hope to begin raising money from the community to purchase and renovate the facility for a new library.

Commissioners said they would consider the proposal and would likely vote on it at the next meeting in two weeks.

It will take an estimated $4 million to renovate the building, officials said.

Librarian Susan Todd, who was one of those at the meeting Monday, has said the Foundation is exploring the possibility of using grant money and donations from the community.

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