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Safety Harbor open to suitors for former library

If you're interested in buying the old library property, the city wants to hear from you.

The city is accepting bids to see who is interested in the site at Fifth Avenue N and Second Street N. It includes the old 3,297-square-foot library building and a separate 2,032-square-foot annex.

"We want to see if we've got some interest out there," said City Manager Pamela Brangaccio. "It's a feeler."

There also is a movement afoot to house a family service center in the old library. With that in mind, city commissioners have agreed not to sell the building until that possibility is resolved.

Several groups, including Safety Harbor Alcohol and Drug Objectors, the American Association of Retired Persons and Church and Community Outreach hope to create Safety Harbor Neighborhood Family Center.

The center could provide such services as immunizations, parenting classes, GED help and elder care. To that end, SHADO has applied to the Pinellas County Juvenile Welfare Board for a $37,000 planning grant.

Proponents of the center have said the old library site is ideal because of its central location.

Supporters of the center met with the City Commission this month to discuss the possibility of leasing the library at $1 a year. They also want the city to pay for utilities and repairs.

SHADO will know by early December whether it will receive the planning grant. City staff members will look for alternative sites for the center.