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Library: Corks may pop at new branch opening

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

County librarian Dwight McInvaill won’t be able to wrap a big red bow around the new Waccamaw Library, but he told trustees last week that the new building on Willbrook Boulevard should be open for Valentine’s Day.

McInvaill said shelving is the next priority for the builder now that flooring and carpet have been installed. Once the shelves are erected, library employees will begin filling them with books from the Pawleys Island branch as well as some new ones acquired over the past year. An official grand opening will be held in March.

Trustees approved a proposal by a 3-1 vote to permit the consumption of beer and wine on library property under the restrictions of a new county ordinance allowing alcohol on county property. McInvaill said the shift in policy will allow community organizations, such as Friends of the Waccamaw Library, to use the facility for fund-raising dinners that would include wine.

The county policy requires proof of insurance and a $300 fee for a permit to serve alcohol.

Community groups that meet on a regular basis will be allowed to reserve the auditorium once a month for a year in advance. The auditorium has a capacity of 200. The two smaller meeting rooms may be reserved weekly for three months in advance.

Georgetown County is making plans to sell the building that formerly housed the Waccamaw Library.

County Council will hold a public hearing Feb. 24 on an ordinance to declare the building and 1.4-acre lot as surplus and to authorize the county administrator to sell it using a listing agent if needed.

Council passed first reading of the ordinance by title only on Tuesday.

The trustees also accepted three donations of art for the new branch. A quilt made by a member of the Friends of the Waccamaw Library, a painting by local artist Barnie Slice and a bronze statue of a woman reading to a child were all approved.

Free tax service will start new season | The volunteers are ready, but the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program is waiting for the new Waccamaw Library to open before beginning another season of free income tax filing service.

“We usually start the first of February,” said Bob Meinert, who is in charge of the local program. But the Waccamaw Library is closed while the staff moves from the old branch at Pawleys Island to a new building on Willbrook Boulevard in Litchfield.

The first day for tax assistance will be Feb. 17. Volunteers will be at the library Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 1 to 5 p.m., through April 14. The program won’t operate at the Georgetown Library this year, Meinert said. “Last year, we were understaffed because we were spread out over two locations,” he said. “We would have loved to do Georgetown. That was a larger operation.”

But the program picked the location that was closest to its volunteers.

Tax-Aide provides free computerized filing for individual returns. Despite its AARP sponsorship, there is no age limit. There’s no income limit either, but Meinert said they don’t do complex returns involving business losses.

“We’ll give them advice as well, and if they have questions, we’ll answer those,” he said.

All the volunteers are certified by the IRS.

Clients need to bring their financial records – including past returns – along with proof of identity. More information about Tax-Aide is available online at aarp.org.

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