JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Charles Tisdale Library was once an asset to Jackson’s Ward 1 in Jackson, but the library has been closed for five years.

“It was closed in the spring of 2017. The issue is, it’s got a basement, and when we have heavy rains, the basement would flood. The flooding got into what was in the basement, which was causing mold. It has gotten worse and worse. About a year ago, people broke in and stole some copper out of the HVAC units, which made the situation worse for the area. I would prefer to sell the property outright. It’s a great location,” explained Jackson City Council President Ashby Foote, Ward 1.

The Northside Sun reported the City of Jackson advertised for bids for the demolition and cleaning of 807 E. Northside Drive, which is the address for the Tisdale Library. Bids are being accepted through August 23 at 3:30 p.m. by the city clerk of Jackson.

“It was indicated in a recent meeting that the intent was to demolish it. I voiced my opinion that I prefer to have these buildings that have become uninhabitable based on their current conditions rather than the city spending more money demolishing them and trying to put them back into working conditions, that we’d be better off fiscally if we just put them on the market and sold them. We’ve got more buildings than we use right now, and we have more buildings that we can properly care for. We need to get out of the facility business as much as we can and focus on clean drinking water, trash picks up, and crime,” said Foote.

There is a side stairwell that leads to the basement which fills up with water when it rains, which could be a danger to kids in the community. City officials have had to wrap the yellow tape around the area for five years.

“It’s unfortunate, but we need to take action, so I applaud the interest in taking action. I think it would be more economical for the city government if we just put the thing up for sale and avoid paying $100,000 or whatever it might take to demolish it. We don’t need any more buildings. We can’t take care of all the buildings we have right now. We have a very small line item for the budget to take care of the hundreds of facilities we have across the city,” said Foote.

According to a report by the Northside Sun, Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba would like to purchase the former Batte Furniture building on Northside Drive, and renovate it as a library.

The Eudora Welty Library in downtown Jackson is also closed because the air conditioning needs to be repaired.