Demolition began early this morning on the former Salyersville First Baptist Church building, where the Magoffin County Public Library Board plans to build a new library.
Crews arrived just after 6 a.m. today and by 9 a.m. roughly 75 percent of the building was down.
The property has been tied up in a legal dispute until Friday, when Magoffin County Circuit Judge Kimberley Childers overruled David May's motion for an injunction.
In October May submitted a complaint and petition for an injunction, suing the library board, which he is a member of, and three of the library board members individually. Just days later all but May resigned from the library board and in November three new members were appointed.
After the last library board member was appointed, on March 10 the Magoffin County Public Library Board voted, again, to tear down the former Salyersville First Baptist Church building. Brent Patrick, Heather Ward and Barb Patrick voted in favor of the demolition. David May abstained from voting, citing his job working for the City of Salyersville could be seen as a conflict of interest, and Lana Blanton was not present at the meeting.
On March 11 Combs Trucking was mobilized to the property to begin demolition, though they were urged by local officials to not touch the building due to the pending litigation. Later that day Judge Childers ordered that the building remain untouched until the final disposition of the case.
On Friday, after hearing testimony from both sides, Judge Childers overruled May's motion for an injunction, stating no evidence had been presented that indicated that any of the library board members had served illegally, nor that any actions taken by the board were illegal, lifting the temporary injunction.
At the end of the day Friday, April 1 May filed a notice of appeal to the order overruling his motion for an injunction.
Since the first board voted for the demolition last spring, a grassroots group of community members have pushed to stop the demolition of the building, and last month they stated they would purchase the property for the appraised price, which was $81,500.
Jim Codell with Codell Construction explained in the March 21 special meeting that due to the fact they have already paid for the property, design costs, architectural design, geotechnical site surveying, removal of hazardous materials, and for the bid-out of the demolition design, the church lot would be the library board's most economical route for building a new library. He also encouraged them to be shovel-ready with the project before July 1 in order to be included in the state's budget. Delaying the project further could jeopardize the funding they had already been allocated.
In the last library board meeting, Chairman Brent Patrick explained that they hope to reduce taxes, if possible, and want to build a smaller library than originally planned to cut costs. Though not an easy decision, Patrick said he could not in good conscience spend more money on another piece of property.
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