Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett visited Dyersburg with a big check in the amount of $100,000. The funds arrive as work begins on the new location, bumping up the total donated to repay the USDA loan granted to the new facility to just over two-thirds of the total needed.
"This brings you to right about $2.2 million," Hargett told members of the library board gathered for the presentation. "You still need $900,0000. I get to come in and bring the big check, but you have done the work. This is a strong group, you have a strong Friends group. There are so many people in this room who have worked so hard and I just get to play a small part of it. You all tell me, 'Thank you for the money'. But this is your tax money, coming home to you to invest in the future."
Hargett commended McIver's Grant Library Director Sharon Simpson for her leadership.
"Communities don't get behind campaigns like this if the leadership isn't there," said Hargett. "I believe there is good leadership here. The legacy that you leave is a legacy of leadership, a legacy that will last for years to come."
State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, State Rep. and Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, new Dyer County State Sen. Lowe Finney and State Rep. Bill Sanderson each spoke on the efforts to find funds to aid McIver's Grant Public Library on the state level. Each mentioned the persistence of Library Board member Carol Harris and her dedication to the project.
Norris and Fitzhugh each pledged their continued support to the Dyer County community although the state's recent redistricting removes them from officially serving as representatives of Dyer County.
"The sense of community that emanates from this library is palpable," said Norris. "It is a great day and (this project) will continue to bring great things to this community."
"I also serve Obion County," said Sanderson. "If you go to Obion County, they have a magnificent structure, but there is a lot of difference in what they have done and what you have done. Essentially, one person took care of their (library). All of you have joined arms (to make this library happen) and it means so much more. The end result is this comes from the whole community and that is what makes this so special."
"I look forward to working with all of you," said Finney. "My mother was a school teacher and at least once a week she would run by the public library in Dresden in the afternoons and I was with her. I was always with her. I have always had a commitment to the library board and West Tennessee. My door is always open."
Dyer County Mayor Richard Hill and Dyersburg Mayor John Holden were also on hand to celebrate the event, with representatives from both the Dyer County Commission and the Dyersburg City Board attending the check presentation, as well.
"(The library is) one of the first things industry ask about when they come into the community," said Hill, who said he used to hesitate to show those interested in investing in the Dyer County community the existing library building. "We have outgrown it. (This effort to build the new facility) is no 'one-man show.' You guys really helped us do this."
"This is a collaborative effort," said Holden, who mentioned the city's recent $25,000 donation and a Kiwanis fundraiser that netted $20,000 for the campaign. "There are so many people involved. It is truly a community effort."
Hargett again complimented Harris on being "the squeaky wheel" drawing attention to the project on both the state and local level and requested she close the ceremony with some remarks.
"This may be our tax money coming home, but I know the needs are all over the state and they are great," said Harris. "Thank you for being our advocate. (Granting us this money) was a choice and we thank you."
"It is our privilege," said Hargett.