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Hurd donates to Elmore Library

By Staff | Mar 20, 2011

Bill Hurd (far left) made a $50,000 donation toward renovation of a downtown building for the new library. He is pictured with members of the library board and “Friends of the Library.” Front, (left to right) Audrey Johnson, Pat Coupanger, Lois Lee Wegner and Margaret Johnson. Back, Eldon Ehrich, Dorothy Johnson, Nancy Ziegler and Doris Klein.

Those wanting to renovate a vacant downtown building to house Elmore’s new library recently received some doubly good news.

On Monday, the City Council approved design plans to be sent to USDA officials in Marshall for review.

Then later in the meeting, Bill Hurd presented a $50,000 check to council member and library board president Pat Coupanger.

“It’s pretty fabulous. We have our loan half paid off before we’ve even started the project,” says Coupanger.

Last November, city officials accepted a $150,000 grant and $100,000 loan from the USDA Rural Development Agency to fund the project.

“It’s a memorial donation in memory of my wife, Nancy,” says Hurd. “She was a strong supporter of the library.”

It’s not the first time the Hurds have given their financial support.

Their $12,500 donation to the city was used to purchase the building at 107 Willis St., for the new library and they also helped pay to repair the roof.

The public also has stepped up with support.

Coupanger, Hurd and Lois Wegner — members of “Friends of the Library” — estimate the group has raised about $50,000 through its fundraising events.

Wegner says the group has no intentions to stop collecting donations and will work hard to attain its original goal of $80,000.

“This is an ongoing project. We’ll work until we get it done,” says Wegner. “The library is important, it’s a main part of the town. We’re doing this for the people of Elmore and for the betterment of the community.”

Wegner and Hurd are hopeful that the new library will be completed by 2013, that’s when the city celebrates its 150th birthday.

“Our goal is to give the city a mortgage-free library as a birthday present,” says Hurd.

In addition to getting a new library, the remodeled facility will have technological upgrades, new furniture and fixtures and a community room for the public to use.

It is expected to take USDA officials six to eight weeks to approve the design plans and then send them to an engineering firm hired by the city before bids are sought.

“I think this shows what can be done if you work together and remain optimistic and positive,” Hurd says.