Town shoots down plans for library mural

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Conceptual drawing courtesy of Christiansburg Public Information Office
The town of Christiansburg is squashing the idea of an artistic mural on the side of the local library after they could not reach a full agreement with county leaders

By Marty Gordon

Plans for a mural, featuring Christiansburg landmarks, has come to a screeching halt after members of town council agreed Tuesday too much liability was being placed on them.

In an earlier agreement, the town had agreed to pay half the cost of the mural at $2,500 with the county’s library foundation covering another $2,500. But this week, county leaders sent back a policy for art being placed on public buildings owned by the county.

The policy said the town would take have to cover both liability and maintenance cost for the mural that has been considered for the side wall of the Christiansburg library.

Councilwoman Merissa Sachs pointed out this would mean the town would have to pay for the mural’s removal if the county saw fit. In addition, the cost would have to include any repair to the brick outer shell if sand blasting or other removal took place.

“We’ll have to take all the risks, and I don’t think it’s fair for us to have to do that,” she said.

After a short consideration, her fellow council members agreed and if the idea of the mural would continue, then an alternate site should be found.

By a 5-1 vote, the council agreed to pull out of the project.

In other action by the council on Tuesday, a compromise has been made on the height of an entrance sign at the Marketplace redevelopment project from 75 feet to 54 feet. In addition, the developer plans to move the sign’s location 20 to 30 feet along the front of the North Franklin Street project to allow for a higher elevation. At issue was the fact the original height would have drastically been higher than what the town allows. The new proposal also pushes the limit, but council members felt it was within the statute to allow the variance.

The rezoning also included a conditional-use permit to allow special events including but not limited to a farmers market at the North Franklin Street location. Work continues at the 20-acre site with a planned new stoplight being planned at Shopper’s Way.

Approximately 125.6 acres of land formerly known as the Meadows Golf Course and Shepherd property has been rezoned from Agriculture to R-2, Two-Family Residential. Plans call for single-family homes in the $300,000 to $500,000 to be constructed on the property, which was recently pulled into the town’s boundaries. Already building plans for one home have been submitted to town planners.

The council also approved the purchase of a new ladder truck for the fire department at a price of $1.496 million. The money had already been set aside in the current town budget.