OAKLEY -- Council members have endorsed the idea of moving Oakley's library to more spacious downtown digs.
The 3-0 vote clears the way for city staff to further research the idea of moving the county library branch from its current location at Freedom High School to the vacant Centro-Mart grocery store opposite City Hall.
Mayor Kevin Romick, vice-mayor Carol Rios and council member Randy Pope approved a resolution supporting the move at a special council meeting Monday night as a result of the regular Oct. 23 meeting lacking a quorum to take action.
The council's action effectively gives a green light to further study the idea of moving the library, said Nancy Marquez, assistant to City Manager Bryan Montgomery.
"It doesn't necessarily mean a slam dunk that will be the site of a future library," she said.
Staff will do additional research and bring the information back to the council in January or February for further action, she said.
Compared with the libraries of 16 other cities around the county, Oakley's approximately 3,000-square-foot branch is by far the smallest, according to a staff report.
The price tag for the new library is $3.5 million to $4 million. Voters would have to approve an annual parcel tax of between $50 and $60 to cover the building and operational costs of the project, said the staff report.
The volunteer group Friends of the Oakley Library recommended converting the former Centro-Mart building on Main Street into the new location for the library after studying two other possible sites. The city already owns the land where the former grocery store is located and would not have to build a new library from the ground up.
Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her on Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.