Consider it essential summer literature, but those doing the reading will determine the outcome Aug. 4.
Coming off a pair of well-attended informational meetings, ballots asking Spokane Valley voters to approve funding for new library branches across from the former University City and in Greenacres were mailed this week.
Those who are confused by the primary election library request can be excused. In April 2014, voters were asked a similar question. However, a supermajority of 60 percent is needed to approve the $22 million bond request, and the special election fell short at 55 percent. However, a second question to approve a taxation facility area was OK’d.
If approved this time around, four projects will receive taxpayer funding that equates to about 11 centers per $1,000 in assessed property value – about $22 per year for a $200,000 home – for the next 20 years.
Library space in the Spokane Valley area would about double, and the bonds would pay for:
- A new 30,000-squar- foot main library at Sprague Avenue and Herald Road, which would complement an expanded Balfour Park to be constructed by the city of Spokane Valley. Library construction is estimated at $14.5 million, and the structure would replace the aging Spokane Valley Library at 12004 E. Main Ave.
- A new 10,000-square-foot library on Conklin Road a block south of Sprague in Greenacres. The library – which will include meeting and study rooms – is estimated to cost $5 million.
- Argonne Library would see a 6,000-square-foot expansion, enlarging the children’s room, meeting room and computer space, among other improvements.
- Lastly, the 60-year-old Main Avenue library would be “repurposed” for $1 million into a technology learning center and include conference rooms and a collection of new books. It would also become the new home for administration.