Skip To Content

Fernandina Beach Library – Newsleader Article

FERNANDINA BEACH – The City Commission voted 3-2 Tuesday night to spend $600,000 as its share of a renovation and expansion that will nearly double the size of the Nassau County’s busiest library downtown.

Vice Mayor Charlie Corbett and Commissioners Ed Boner and Arlene Filkoff approved the action, while Mayor Sarah Pelican and Commissioner Pat Gass voted against it.

The vote came after the project’s architect presented the commission with plans that knocked $300,000 off the estimated $1.9 million cost of its original design, a potential overrun that caused a delay on a vote last year.

Under a proposed tri-party, interlocal agreement, the city and county have agreed to contribute $600,000 each and the Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library group will contribute $400,000 for the work to be done at 25 N. Fourth St. The nonprofit plans to raise the funds directly from patrons and through other means.

The other holdup in the vote was cleared up in the interlocal agreement that gives the city, which owns the building and property, management of the project. The city is to make periodic progress reports to the county and Friends. The county had initially sought to manage the project itself.

The commission voted 4-1 to approve the interlocal agreement, with only Gass dissenting. The county still must sign off on it before the project can move forward.

The new look will include remodeling to the existing 9,000-square-foot building with a 7,200-square-foot addition. The work will create a separate children’s library, young adult center, technology center, reading room, local history and genealogy room and a new community meeting room.