Atascadero City Council agrees to release money for library relocation

The Atascadero City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to appropriate $254,000 for the purchase of a new library building.

Coupled with the earlier backing of the county Board of Supervisors Tuesday, the move gives efforts to expand the city’s library services a major boost.

Backers of expansion, most notably the Atascadero Friends of the Library, hope to see the library leave its current 7,000-square-foot space on Morro Road and occupy two-thirds of an empty 20,000-square-foot office building at 6555 Capistrano Ave.

The new location is not only larger, but would provide more parking and is closer to the city’s downtown core. As part of the county’s involvement, county offices would go in to one-third of the space.

The Morro Road site would go on the market, and proceeds from the sale would apply to the move.

The transfer is not a done deal. Friends of the Library still needs to raise an estimated $2 million, according to a staff report.

“The Council has been supportive of the expansion efforts and even more so now that the Library will be downtown,” Atascadero City Manager Wade McKinney wrote in an e-mail to The Tribune.

-Bob Cuddy