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Orfordville library looking to buy Harvest Community Church

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Gina Duwe
June 27, 2014

ORFORDVILLE--The village of Orfordville is negotiating the purchase of Harvest Community Church, 519 E. Beloit St., to turn it into a new library, Librarian Sarah Strunz said.

“As of now, we are in the stage of working back and forth to acquire it,” she said.

The library board for years has been planning to build a new library on land it bought in 2008 at 115 N. Center St. About $118,000 has been raised toward the project. More money has been pledged, Strunz said.

When asked if that would be enough to cover buying the church, Strunz said, “I would sure hope so.”

Strunz would not say why or how the recent negotiations came about.

“I would really rather talk about it after we acquire it,” she said to several questions.

The Gazette was unable to reach anyone at Harvest Community Church.

Strunz said the 28-year-old church building has 3,200 square feet, compared to the library's 1,200 square feet.

“It will work well,” she said. “It's an excellent building. If it can be acquired, it's going to be perfect.”

It's a “more than nice” building that is handicap accessible, has parking, a sidewalk to the building and is in a beautiful, quiet location, she said. It also is “set up perfectly” to expand, if needed, she said.

“When you look at it, it screams 'library,'” she said. “It's a great building.”

No decision has been reached about what to do with the property the library had planned to build on, Strunz said. The land is owned “free and clear” and is part of the library's assets, she said.

The church property is about one acre, according to county tax records.

The village board met in closed session Monday to discuss the purchase, but no action was taken later in open session, according to meeting minutes.

The library board is its own entity and responsible for the sale, said village Clerk/Treasurer Sherri Waege. The village board does not need to approve a sale, she said.

The village also owns the former Burtness Chevrolet building at 303 E. Beloit St. At one time, officials considered moving the library there, but Strunz said that idea has been ruled out.

The village has gutted the building but no decisions have been made about its use. The committee formed to discuss it has not met, Waege said.



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