The Brookfield Public Library Board of Trustees has swallowed hard and has tossed aside its dream of building a new library, financed in large part with funds that had the full backing of the village’s voters.
It’s become clear that voters aren’t going to back a referendum to fund a bond issue, and the library board has altered its approach.
The trick now is to come up with a plan for an addition to the existing building without it looking like some Frankenstein solution within the $6 million budget the board has set.
That plan will then undergo a months-long review by the Planning and Zoning Commission and Brookfield Village Board. Since both bodies have already approved a plan that included vacating part of Lincoln Avenue, we’re guessing that will again be part of whatever plan is brought forward.
An entirely new facility would have been a cleaner solution, but the library board’s new approach aligns more closely with where the community is at this point. Already bearing the brunt of tax increases to fund street improvements and for school districts 95 and 102, a third self-imposed tax hike to build a new library was really unlikely.
Retreating strategically from that battle was a pragmatic decision. Now it’s up to the architects to craft a plan that gets officials most of what they wanted with a new facility while keeping the burden on taxpayers as manageable as possible.