A public meeting was held in January of this year to propose either renovating Maltman Memorial Library or relocating the library, senior center, and food pantry to a new facility. After that event, the Feasibility Committee, including representatives of the Wood River City Council, Maltman Memorial Library, and senior center, which was involved from the very beginning to help facilitate a decision, met and reviewed the comments gathered from residents. Costs were examined and discussions were held about what would benefit the community the most. Ultimately, a recommendation was made to the city council to relocate the three entities in question to the empty wing next to Stick Creek Kids and it was approved.
A new committee has since been formed, the Legacy Station Committee, and includes representatives from the library, food pantry, city council, community, and others with roots in Wood River. This committee will undertake the fundraising process and everyone involved has a vested interest in the betterment of the community. With a goal of approximately $2.5 million, some of the fundraising will include grant applications and donations. Construction is projected to start in late 2023.
While Maltman Memorial Library, the senior center, and food pantry, will keep their own identities, a name for the facility that will house all three has been discussed. “Legacy Station” was agreed on, then approved by the city council. The reasoning behind this name is described by Wood River native Michelle Setlik this way, “Wood River came into existence and has grown and flourished around several ‘stations.’ The community of Wood River was first established around Jackson’s store, which served as a way station along the Old California/Oregon trail and Old Military Road from Fort Omaha to Fort Kearny at the end of the Civil War.”
Setlik continued by saying, “A decade later, forward thinking community leaders agreed to pick up the entire town and move it three miles east where the Union Pacific Railroad platted a new station, knowing that towns that survived and thrived would have a railroad station at the heart of the town where travelers, goods, and news would pass through. With the arrival of the transcontinental highway, the community again evolved with modern service stations drawing motorists into the community and when plans were discussed to bypass Wood River when the highway was realigned in the 1930s, community leaders fought to keep the highway along the business district which allowed the community to continue to grow while other communities established around the same time have vanished from the landscape.
During the floods of 2019, the community came together to rise above the devastation with the fire station serving as a command post and community gathering space.”
“A legacy, or gift, is passed from one generation to the next,” Setlik added. “The legacy of a life includes the accomplishments of the individual (or in this case community) and the impact left on people and places. We all have a choice of what type of legacy we want to leave in the world. Drawing on a biblical reference, Proverbs 13:22 proclaims, ‘A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.’ The Legacy Station could be the inheritance this generation leaves for the next to help propel the community into the next century.”
To help promote and identify the new facility, the Legacy Station Committee is announcing a logo contest. Anyone with ties to Wood River is encouraged to submit an original logo drawing to the city office by either dropping it off or emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a name, contact information, and “logo contest” in the subject line. Submissions will be accepted until Tuesday, July 19, at 3:00 p.m.