HAMMOND | A pair of buildings that once housed Hammond Public Library branches have been put up for sale by library trustees.
The structures at 1212 172nd St., the former E. B. Hayward branch, and 7047 Grand Ave., the former Howard branch, are offered for minimum bids of $217,000 and $206,000, respectively.
Several years of financial difficulties led to the decision by trustees to close the branches last year, leaving the main building at 564 State St. as the city's only public library.
Library Director Rene Greenleaf had said as late as November that she was optimistic a plan could be devised to reopen the South Hammond and Hessville branch libraries. However, increasing costs and dwindling property tax revenues prompted their sales.
Trustees announced bids on the properties would be accepted for a 60-day period beginning Wednesday. Sales could be completed before the end of that time, according to terms of the offering.
Four other Hammond library branches were closed in 1998.