VERONA — The Weyers Cave area is one step closer to having its own library after the Augusta County Board of Supervisors approved a lease agreement on Wednesday night.

Deputy County Administrator Jennifer Whetzel said a library in Weyers Cave has been on the board’s priority list for the last few years. A storefront became available which will include the main library, office space and restrooms.

Wayne Supervisor Scott Seaton questioned why a library in the Weyers Cave area was the board’s priority since it’s about 5 miles from a library, while areas like Raphine were 17 miles from the closest library.

“A lot of the libraries through the years have transpired based on the community’s drive to build the library whether it’s Stuarts Draft, Middlebrook, Churchville,” Whetzel responded. “Over time, as it’s built out, it’s really been a community drive behind it.”

The 4,325 square-foot building would have an annual cost of about $88,700 and one part-time staffer, Whetzel added.

Middle River Supervisor and board chairman Gerald Garber abstained from Wednesday night’s discussion and vote because the lease agreement is between Cave Town Properties, LLC which is associated with Garber’s business partner.

Before Wednesday night’s vote, County Attorney James Benkahla read a statement from Commonwealth’s Attorney Tim Martin on any potential conflict of interest. Martin advised that he did not see anything initially that was a conflict of interest, but it would take some time to see if his initial impression was correct.

Garber did not participate in any discussion or votes regarding the Weyers Cave library.

On a 6-0 vote with Garber abstaining, the board voted to approve the lease agreement, as well as allocate $15,000 from the North River infrastructure account for improvements on the property.

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Reporter

Logan Bogert is a reporter for The News Virginian in Waynesboro, Virginia. She can be reached at lbogert@newsvirginian.com or (540) 932-3562. Follow Logan on Twitter at @Logan_Bogert.

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