The City currently owns a building known as Potts Hall, which sits right next to City Hall on Rhode Island Avenue. The two buildings bordering Potts Hall on the east - one which houses Progressive Insurance, another that houses a County library - are also owned by the City.
Why is this important? The City has been looking into redeveloping Potts Hall into a Civic Center of sorts, with a space for Council meetings or community events upstairs, and an open space originally designed for any number of things downstairs. More recently, threats from the County to remove its library due to the condition of its building have made the redevelopment of Potts Hall all the more pressing. The City is leveraging its plan to redevelop Potts Hall to try and convince the County that its library can have a new home if they choose to occupy the first floor of the redeveloped property.
Such an outcome would be ideal for our residents - it would keep the library in Mount Rainier and enable the City to consider the redevelopment or sale of the two parcels next to Potts Hall, which are in need of significant repair.
I cannot underscore the importance of keeping a library in Mount Rainier. There are still many residents in our City who do not have regular access to the internet and rely on the library for that access. In addition, many kids rely on the library as their hangout after school. Without it, where else will they go? The City needs to do everything it can to retain this outpost of the County's library system.