The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday not only approved a merger of the county library system with the Minneapolis Public libraries, it also approved money for a new Webber Park Library building.

The current Webber Park Library has been closed since last December when budget cuts forced the Minneapolis library system to shut it down. Two other libraries also were shuttered last year as part of a budget balancing act.

But if the Minneapolis City Council and the mayor approve the proposed merger of the two library systems at its meeting on Friday, Webber Park along with the Roosevelt and Southeast libraries will open Jan. 3.

With a positive vote, Hennepin County said it will build a new Webber Park Library to replace the current building at 4310 Webber Pkwy. It approved $15 million for the project, which will go to the drawing boards in January with construction to begin sometime in 2009. A location for the new library has not been chosen.