I want to emphasize the importance of the upcoming Community Connection Project which will combine the library, City Hall/utilities, Children's Museum, coffee shop and event space. Many locals depend on the free services of the library including a safe space to meet, work in groups and access resources they may not otherwise be able to. This project is the final stage of approval meaning we need to vote to release the EXISTING dollars earmarked for the project.
Misconceptions regarding the project:
• We voted this down already - False. It’s a new project. This building, designed through public surveys, now includes City Hall, Library, Art Gallery, Community Room and leased space for a Children’s Museum.
• Its going to raise our taxes - False. This would be paid with existing tax. The library and cultural portions (everything but City Hall) would be paid with the ½% sales tax approved by voters for this purpose in 2016. The City Hall portion would be paid with existing general fund revenue.
• Spend it on something else - False. The ½% sales tax was approved only for police and fire facilities, library and cultural facilities. It cannot be used to fix roads, etc.
• It's fiscally irresponsible - False. Both the current library and City Hall buildings are in need of major repair/renovation. Renovating both these buildings would be an estimated $15 million (construction only) and there would still be inefficiencies, no community room or Children’s Museum space, no additional downtown parking, and no place for Council Chambers so it would remain in the old Police Station. Construction costs are continuing to rise significantly, issuing bonds to pay for the project is a better choice than waiting until enough sales tax has accumulated to pay cash.