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Clermont council will fight for library
Hall commission wants to build new facility on proposed park site
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Library meeting
The Clermont City Council will meet again with residents to discuss the future of the North Hall library.
When: 2 p.m. Saturday
Where: Clermont gym, located on Main Street in Clermont

The Clermont City Council decided Tuesday it was willing to take any action necessary to keep the North Hall library in Clermont.

The council’s work session was the first time they’ve met since hearing the news that there may not be a library in their town anymore.

Clermont residents spoke out against the idea of connecting a library to the North Hall park and community center and discussed strategies to let elected officials hear their feelings.

On Feb. 8, Hall County Board of Commissioners Chairman Tom Oliver proposed building the North Hall library — a SPLOST project originally intended for 44 acres in Clermont — on the same Nopone Road site as the future North Hall park and community center.

County officials say building the library on the same property as the park and community center would cut costs and serve more people. They said population figures showed the Nopone Road site would better serve the North Hall area than the Clermont property, located at the extreme north end of the county near the White County line.

The City Council gathered to hear from the people what action they should take.

“How hard do you want to fight for it?” asked Clermont Mayor James Nix. “That’s what we need to decide — what kind of approach we need to take leading up to the (Hall County Board of Commissioners) meeting.”

People from within the city limits and surrounding neighborhoods such as Windmill said they are ready to write letters, make phone calls, sign petitions and even donate money to keep the library in Clermont.

“I want to fight for our library,” Sherry Lawson said. “We’ve sent close to 400 e-mails urging people to contact all their county commissioners with what they want done.”

Among the crowd at the Tuesday work session were two librarians who felt it was unwise to combine the library and athletic facilities.

Anne Dayton, a librarian at North Hall High School, said bringing the two facilities together would cause problems such as extra noise, maintenance and unattended children.

“I really think it’s a mistake to put it in that complex,” Dayton said.

Commissioner Steve Gailey, who represents Clermont, urged people to keep fighting and inform the members of the Hall County Library Board and the Hall County commission with all the potential issues that have been discussed over the past two weeks.

“If you want it, you’ve got to stay after it,” Gailey said.

North Hall resident Tim Merritt suggested creating a list of concerns to submit to the library board.

Nix called for a community meeting at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Clermont gym and urged the people in attendance at the meeting Tuesday to invite friends and neighbors.

The council said, after hearing from the people, they are ready to fight for the library.

“I’m willing to take it as far as it will go,” Councilman Seth Weaver said.

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