by: Jessie McDonough Updated:ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. —
According to the branch manager, over 48,000 people a year visit the Hastings branch of the St. Johns County Public Library a year.
However, the town of Hastings is in jeopardy of losing its only library after St. Johns County's 20-year lease expired.
The mayor of Hastings, Tom Ward, is fighting to keep the library for Hastings residents.
For the last ten10 years, St. Johns County has leased the building from the town of Hastings for a mere $100, but now the mayor wants them to sign a new lease and pay much more to upkeep the building.
"We did the first ten10 years at $8 a square foot and then we did ten10 years at $100 a year," said Hastings Mayor Tom Ward.
But now that lease is up and Ward wants the county to renew and pay up.
"About $4,000 a month," said Ward.
That equals out to what St. Johns County paid during the first ten10 years of their original lease agreement, which is about $8 a square foot. However the County Commission has other ideas.
"We are considering all of our options," said County Commission Communications Manager Michael Ryan.
One of those options includes buying a brand new building to house the library.
"I don't know why they would want to spend money on a new building when they got this beautiful historical place that everyone loves," said Ward.
The commission will announce if they will be renewing their lease July 31.