Ad Hoc Committee formed to discuss Magnolia Springs’ schoolyard property


MAGNOLIA SPRINGS - Magnolia Springs council has formed an ad hoc committee consisting of Mayor Bob Holk, councilmember Kim Koniar, and councilmember Marley Gardner to discuss potential plans for the schoolyard property located in front of the Volunteer Fire Department. The town purchased the property at the end of 2018 under the condition that it was to be used as a public space. Since the purchase, the town has agreed to sell the property housing the fire station to the Volunteer Fire Department and a public meeting has been held to gather input from citizens on what they would like to see done with the newly purchased land.

“From our meeting and individual discussions with people, I think there are a few things that seem to me are in the consensus area on what to be done with the property,” said Holk. “One of them would be an event pavilion on the property; everything that we’ve looked at on the comprehensive plan seems to point in that direction.”

Another largely requested suggestion is a children’s park. Councilmember Ben Dykema spoke about building a new town hall and public library on the site.

“That would be an economic sensible thing to do,” Dykema said. “We’re paying rent each month currently, but if we built a new town hall and library on the property then in 20 years we could have it paid off, which would be the financially prudent thing to do.”

Holk echoed Dykema’s sentiments, stating a new town hall and library were things to be looked at when considering the future for the property. He said during the public meeting some citizens voiced the possibility of the town purchasing another site for new structures, and that longer discussions were needed before anything was decided upon. Depending on what goes on the property, Holk suggested there may be enough space to fit a new town hall and library beside other developments.

To that end, the ad hoc committee is tasked with sorting through suggestions and possibilities for the property. A second public meeting has not been scheduled, but will be planned in the future.

“The new committee will start looking at where we can go from here,” Holk said. “If we’re going to go to any kind of planner or architect to ask them to help us with the property we’ve got to have a plan … The ad hoc committee can put in some thought on this and present what they find to the council before we proceed with any final decisions.”

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