While it seemed that an effort to build a new main Spokane Valley library branch was a closed book back in September, a new chapter in the ongoing saga is expected to begin in the next year.
On Tuesday night, the Spokane Valley City Council agreed to participate in an ad hoc committee with members of the Spokane County Library District board of trustees in order to attempt to salvage plans to construct a new library at the northeast corner of Sprague Avenue and Herald Road on 2.82 acres adjacent to Balfour Park.
The problem – as per usual – is money. Voters have twice rejected bond requests in order to fund the new library, failing to reach the necessary 60-percent supermajority. And in September, trustees members had said they hoped the city of Spokane Valley would pay back the $839,285 so they could develop new plans to renovate the existing Spokane Valley Library at 12004 E. Main.
That stance seemed to soften, however, after a Nov. 11 meeting between SCLD staffers and city officials. But more input is now needed, said Mark Calhoun, Spokane Valley city manager.
“The consensus at the staff level is we now need input from elected members,” Calhoun told the council Tuesday.
Council members agreed to participate, but they did not appoint any specific members of the council.
During the last bond request in 2015, the library district asked for $22 million, which would have paid for the new Sprague Avenue main branch along with another in Greenacres. Improvements would have also been made to the Argonne branch.
The council will not hold a meeting on Dec. 27 in order to break for Christmas. The next meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 3.