LETTER: Nature preserve provides a peaceful library site

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To the editor:
I read with enjoyment the article in the recent special edition of The Oldham Era concerning the Creasey-Mahan Nature Preserve. It is a beautiful nature preserve, well-managed, and an asset to the entire Oldham community.
The vision of the late Virginia Creasey and her husband Howard Mahan is being realized by an interested and active volunteer board. Director Tavia Cathcart Brown has been instrumental in providing wonderful active and educational nature programs concerning the local flora and fauna.
I appreciate the difficulties that the board and Brown have in finding the funds to support the well-attended activities and the general maintenance of the 168 wooded acres without a permanent and reliable funding stream.
The Mahan Library was established as a branch for the Prospect/Goshen area by Howard Mahan in 1983.
The library district was given free use of the historic old dairy barn and has become a valued destination for residents in the North Oldham area over the past 29 years.
Because of the financial losses experienced by the Preserve in the last few years, the library district was asked to begin paying a lease.
Although the article in The Era referenced 2010 tax documents stating the library pays $14,000 annually, the library actually pays $31,320 annually.
The monthly payment is $2,610 which includes $2,100 for the lease, $350 for maintenance, $110 for a portion of the water and sewer charges and $50 for a portion of the trash pickup.
The library district had plans to build a new branch to replace the 3,100 square foot Mahan Library but those plans were halted when the North Oldham Lions Club decided to rescind their contract offering acreage at the Belknap Community Center.
So it looks as if the relationship between the nature preserve and the library district will continue to thrive.
The library is also well attended, with 46,413 visits during the 2011-12 fiscal year.
It’s location amid the beautiful natural setting of the nature preserve has made it a charming and peaceful place and beloved by many in the community.
Susan Eubank
Director, Oldham County Public Library