Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester City Council is being asked if the elected officials are interested in having city staff explore a potential public-private partnership to develop a new public library in downtown Rochester.

City Council President Randy Staver says the development group that purchased the former Post Bulletin property has been working on a proposal that incorporates a new library on the site. The city council agenda indicates the plan calls for an approximately 150,000 square foot facility that would double the size of the existing library.

Staver says the Council is being asked to discuss the issue to determine if it merits having city staff to work more closely with the developer to evaluate a potential partnership and report back later this year with estimated capital and operating financial impacts. Staver also stressed that moving forward with exploring a potential partnership would not signal a promise or decision on the issue and discussions about the public library remain in flux, with the proposals ranging from improving the current facility to new construction.

A development group named PB Rochester Investments LLC purchased the Post Bulletin property last year and demolished the buildings at the site over the summer. Through an arrangement approved by the City Council in February, the developer will be allowed to seek the creation of a Redevelopment Tax Increment District for the site during the next 3 years.

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