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August 26, 1997

Work seems to be at a temporary standstill on the courthouse park sidewalk project on the west side of the square and that is causing some temporary inconvenience for folks who use that side to transact business or to gain access to the post office and Perry Carnegie Library. The library is closed until further notice and entry to the post office is limited.

The old, narrow sidewalks on the west side of the park were ripped out some time ago and new electric lines must be buried there before the new, wider ones can be installed. The library lawn is in total disarray, but the greater problem is the loss of the library with all its fine reference material, particularly with local schools just starting a new term. Public access computers at the library and the free video tape shelves are all denied users while we await the resumption of work by city crews and contractors.

Through all this, library staffers and board members can do nothing more than apologize to their patrons for the indefinite status of things. One major accomplishment during the hiatus has been completion of the bar coding of all books at the library, which means check outs and check ins will be handled much faster in the future, when the library reopens. In the meantime, just remember how nice the entire square will look after the work is finished. Like any construction project, this one is not going to be completed when we had hoped. Will it be ready by the mid-September Cherokee Strip celebration? Food vendors and others consigned to the west side of the square for that event certainly hope so.

On to another subject: My friend Shirley Morton believes there should be some sort of memorial to recognize Noble countyans who have given their lives in defense of this country. That would include any war or military engagement since Perry was founded back there on September 16th, 1893. An engraved plaque bearing their names would be a bare minimum, but perhaps there is sufficient sentiment in favor of this idea to make possible an even more ambitious marker. The first floor rotunda of the courthouse could be used to display the memorial, or perhaps a shady spot on the courthouse lawn. What do you think?