Perryville Council hears about library box idea

Published 12:18 pm Thursday, May 11, 2023


The Perryville City Council heard a presentation about putting in a free library box at their meeting on Thursday.

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Chelsey Nash, a local mom with four kids, had the idea and offered to lead the project. Nash explained that the town had a blessing box several years back, but it wasn’t in the best location.

Nash said they could work with the nonprofit Little Free Library, which has 150,000 library box locations. There’s a location in Danville at Toliver Elementary School.

The box would allow locals to access physical books without having to drive to the Boyle County Public Library, which Nash said many people in Perryville don’t do.

“A lot of kids don’t have access to books at home, and a lot of kids here, their parents aren’t going to drive them down to Danville to the library,” Nash said. “No one’s really doing the library anymore unfortunately; everything’s in an e-book, on your phone or online.”

Nash said she could donate supplies to build the box, paint it, and install it with help from the community. It would be mainly for children’s books and some young adult books. The box location would be added to the Little Free Library’s map on their website.

It would be a cabinet with a glass front and a roof with shingles to protect from the rain. The nonprofit recommends that boxes not be in a high trafficked area where it could be easily hit by vehicles; be three to five feet away from a sidewalk; and be lower to the ground so children and people in wheelchairs can reach it.

They would need to appoint a steward of the box to make sure it’s maintained, and Nash volunteered. In terms of ownership, the city can either devote it to the steward or to the city council.

Nash asked to work with the council on determining a location. The council voted to table the matter until their next meeting in order to gather more information.

Main Street Perryville

Instead of their usual funding request of $1,000 per year, Main Street Perryville Director Aly Huff requested that the city contribute $5,000 this coming year, which she said is mainly for staff support.

Since taking the position, Huff has gotten several new events going, rehabilitated past events like ghost walks and the Turtle Derby, and brought in more money than in years past. She gave a presentation about everything they’ve done recently.

Over the past year, events put on by Main Street Perryville have brought in about $51,000, between the ghost walks, Turtle Derby, Battlefield Commemoration, and others.

The new Baril Park Summer Nights have started; the first one happened this past weekend. This is a free monthly family night in Perryville with a movie or music, food trucks, games, etc.

This week is “Main Street week” in Perryville, which will encourage people to do different things in town each day. Huff said they are encouraging people to “become a tourist in your hometown.” She said people in or near Perryville may not have seen or been to everything Perryville has to offer.

On Tuesday, people can go to Baril Park and walk along the Chaplin River to make art with provided sidewalk chalk. On Wednesday, people can take historic walking tours of Perryville using a walking tour booklet. Thursday is the Starry Night Studio by the Art Center of the Bluegrass, and late night shopping. Friday there will be a food truck downtown.

In other business, the council:

• Passed the first reading of amendments to the business license ordinance. The annual business license fee is $25 due by Jan. 31. Amendments include that there’s a new vendor license for $15 for out-of-town vendors.

Instead of purchasing a normal business license, vendors can purchase a vendor license for those who only come to Perryville once a year, like to local festivals. The license is only active for three consecutive days. The ordinance passed five to four, with Mike Lankford the only no vote.

• Passed a motion for the beautification committee to paint a mural on the side of the Fire House. Committee Chair Marie Miller said it would be big flowers with the name Perryville, so people can see it driving by. The mural will have to comply with the city art ordinance.

• Passed a motion to increase pay for city employees by 4%, except for police and fire. Fire and police officers will be getting a 15% raise, since their current pay rate is very low for the job they do.

Mayor Carlos Miller said this will not affect the budget significantly, due to a calendar error in last year’s budget. Last year, they budgeted pay for 53 weeks instead of 52.

• Passed a motion to keep the alcohol beverage control regulatory fee the same as last year, which is 5%.