Letter to the Editor, Redmond Reporter

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Re:  July 10, 2015 edition

Thank you for printing my letter about the campaign kick-off for Mayoral Candidate, Steve Fields in your July 10th edition (pages 4 and 5).

I was somewhat taken aback by the Editor’s Note added into my submission as it directed readers to the Nokomis story on page 2 and 3.  I did not consent to the insertion of the note; which was bad enough.  In addition, the story regarding the Nokomis building was not accurate in reporting the commentary and decisions of the Redmond City Council during their July 7th meeting.

During that council meeting, Rosemarie Ives, former Mayor of Redmond and community activist spoke during the “Items from the Audience” segment about the Nokomis building, and read a few selections from the roughly 25 pieces of correspondence sent to the City; including stories of children from Redmond Elementary being escorted from the school to the building (at that time used as the town library). Women were granted the right to vote in 1920 and 14 years after that in 1934 the women of the Redmond Nokomis club petitioned the WPA for funds to build the library building.  It was noted in her speech that not only is the building of historical significance, but the property as well.

Council members on the whole were supportive of the move, however it was very clearly stated that the city would only be donating the park property if the funds for moving the structure were privately raised.  One council member suggested that the amount necessary to move, stabilize and make the building functional for public use was “a rather high cost” for a building that is “not a landmark, but a building of historic interest”.

Mayor Marchione clearly stated that there would be a time limit in which the funds (for moving the structure) would need to be raised in order for the City to continue the donation of the park land and that there would be no delay of the permitted project by NBE while the funds were being raised.   NBE has offered to spend roughly $40,000 to incorporate ‘elements and materials from the Nokomis building’ into the new development.  A placard and a few pieces of lumber in a meeting room is a poor memorial to the women of Redmond who provided the town with its first library.

The City may feel that $600,000 is a “high cost” to maintain a piece of our city’s history; but losing our past is a price that we should not be willing to pay.

Paige Norman
Education Hill, Redmond

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