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LETTER: Downtown location best for library and Grand Forks

We hope the Grand Forks Library Board recommends a downtown location to the City Council. It is the better choice by far. A downtown building would make a beautiful architectural statement about our revived city and its remarkable recovery from t...

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(Sam Easter/Grand Forks Herald)

We hope the Grand Forks Library Board recommends a downtown location to the City Council. It is the better choice by far.

A downtown building would make a beautiful architectural statement about our revived city and its remarkable recovery from the flood. And downtown is convenient; within a block are the Grand Forks Public Transportation Transit Center, Central High School, dozens of businesses, banks, restaurants, retail shops and significant new housing.

And a downtown location will spur even more economic development, further helping our tax base which the midtown location surely will NOT do.

We strongly believe that the midtown location would be more dangerous to children, who often misjudge oncoming cars or think they can beat a light. Pedestrians crossing South Washington Street always need patience and good judgment. South Washington Street has four lanes of high-volume traffic that moves continuously at a much faster speed than downtown.

On the other hand, drivers coming through downtown already stop at every block; and thanks to the usual foot traffic of students, customers and diners, they are accustomed to the sight of pedestrians waiting at the corners.

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City planners will be quite able to resolve concerns about the impact of this location on downtown's parking and traffic. Planners addressed similar issues in the Twin Cities, for example, and yet built three huge new facilities (Vikings/US Bank Stadium; Twins/Target Field; University of Minnesota/TCF Bank Stadium) that all are located downtown.

Last but not least, the current estimated cost of a new library building bond will be about 12.5 cents per day per average household. Library bonds will sunset in 8 years, a good investment for generations to follow.

Downtown is the best location for many reasons. This is an opportunity for Grand Forks development that should not be missed.

Hal and Kathy Gershman

Grand Forks

Hal Gershman is a former president of the Grand Forks City Council. Kathy Gershman is a retired professor and former chair of the Department of Educational Foundations and Research at UND.

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