Buchanan council approves StoryWalk location

Published 9:31 am Wednesday, April 26, 2017

After a drawn out process, the Buchanan City Council voted unanimously Monday to approve allowing the Buchanan District Library to place its StoryWalk posts along The Common.

The boards, which were given to the library by an anonymous donor, and the idea for the StoryWalk have been in the works since early 2016, but it has taken until now to come to fruition.

Earlier this year, Barbara Wallace, director of the Buchanan District Library, presented the StoryWalk to the council for a vote, but was turned down until she and the library staff spoke with community groups around The Common for their input.

Wallace was tasked by the council to meet with the Buchanan garden club, B.A.R.B., the fine arts council, the Friends of the McCoy’s Creek Trail, The Common Committee, the Preservation Society and the Buchanan Farmer’s Market Board.

“I think the City of Buchanan sees a lot of pride in The Common space,” Wallace said. “I think the city commissioners wanted to be sure that the groups that use the space were on-board [with the StoryWalk].”

Barbara Wallace

Wallace said that the idea was originally to put the StoryWalk on the trail near the library, but the library board was concerned the boards would not be visible enough. The Common, which is right in the library’s backyard, made for a logical next solution.

Councilwoman Carla Cole expressed concern about the location of the StoryWalk.

“I like the idea of what you’re doing, I just don’t care for it in The Common Area. I have concerns for the cleanup in the winter as well as summer,” she said. “I prefer they were in a different area, but I will go ahead and vote yes.”

Wallace said that the posts will not be cemented into the ground, so if The Common turns out to not be a viable location for the StoryWalk, the posts may be moved. Per an agreement with the city, the library will be responsible for the upkeep of the posts, as well as a 5-foot diameter area of the lawn around them.

The StoryWalk will consist of up to 30 posts that tell a complete story for children.

Wallace said that pages on each post may be doubled-up or tripled-up, so 30 posts will not always be necessary to have spread around The Common.

“Because the library is not open all of the time, some children do not have the ability to get a book when they need to,” Wallace said. “We’re [library staff] hoping this can be another thing that kids can do.”

The boards for the StoryWalk — made of cedar — have been built in town, but still need to be attached to the donated posts, Wallace said.

Redbud Hardware donated much of the hardware needed to assemble the posts.

“Tracy Dippo from Redbud Hardware has spent a lot of time planning with me,” Wallace said. “She’s been instrumental in the project.”

Wallace hopes to replace the stories on the posts with a new children’s storybook each week.  Pending final construction, the StoryWalk will be ready for installation within a month.

The first scheduled book will be “Where the Wild Things Are,” written by Maurice Sendak.

Also on Monday:

• Amanda Manasco was approved to serve a three-year term on the Buchanan Farmer’s Market Board as recommended by the farmer’s market board.

• A banner for Water Week was approved for May 1 to 15 on Redbud Trail.

• A banner for the Buchanan Art Center was approved for May 12 to 26 on East Front Street.

• Mayor Brenda Hess proclaimed May 14 to 20 Lion’s White Cane Week. Volunteers from the Buchana/Galien Lions will be at financial institutions, as well as McDonald’s, May 19 and 20 to collect donations to help the blind and seeing impaired in the community. Last year, the group collected $1,900, according to club member Jerry Flenar.

• The council approved the closure of South Oak Street between Roe and East Smith streets and from South Oak Street to past the trail entrance on East Smith Street for the Superhero Run for Belly Buttons. The road will be closed from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, May 27, for the run.

• The bid for a new Kubota front-end mower for the city was unanimously awarded to HFS Tractor Sales and Service for $13,350. A trade-in value of $7,500 was given for the city’s current Kubota mower. The current mower is experience engine failure, which City Manager Bill Marx estimated at a potential cost of $9,000 to $11,000 for repairs.

• The council unanimously voted to approve honorary naming of public streets.