West Fargo Library continues lease at Lodoen Education Center
The library has continued to search for its own space. The lease agreement is valid for five yearsz but rent was reduced starting in 2022.
WEST FARGO — West Fargo's lone library will continue its lease at the Lodoen Education Center, but it did receive a break on the rent.
City Attorney Jon Shockley presented the West Fargo City Commission with the five-year lease at the commission's Monday, Jan. 17 meeting.
The library will pay an annual rent of about $120,000 after paying about $143,000 per year as part of its previous lease agreement.
"In summary it is very similar to the past five years' lease," Shockley said.
The West Fargo Public Library leases space in the Lodeon Education Center from the West Fargo School District, which owns the former high school that has been turned to the library, Community High School and early education center.
Shockley said while the lease is set to automatically renew itself for five years, the library can terminate the lease early.
"It is a year to year lease so it gives the library options," Shockley said.
The library has long hoped to build its own building. The library board last approached the City Commission in 2015 when it proposed a bond to pay for a new 50,000-square-foot, $15 million facility that would help the library keep up with the demand for services and space in the community. However, a new building never came to fruition.
In February 2020, City Administrator Tina Fisk asked the commission to examine the process of potentially building a new city hall or remodeling the space and discussed a potential City Hall and Library option with the Library Board.
At a December West Fargo City Commission meeting, commissioners asked city staff to schedule a meeting in 2022 with library board members and discuss building needs.
Fisk has said planning for a new library building would likely be a two-year process including design and construction.
Monday, Jan. 17, the commission held a public hearing regarding the lease prior to approving the agreement unanimously.
"By statute when the library proposes to own, lease or rent property you have to hold a public hearing," Shockley said. "The library director would normally present it but apparently there is nobody in that position right now."
The West Fargo Library Board is currently seeking a new director after former Library Director Carissa Hansen sought "another opportunity," according to City Spokeswoman Melissa Richard.
Hansen was named library director in late 2019 after the retirement of longtime Library Director Sandra Hannahs.