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Library unveils new ballot proposal

Boulder City voters will have another chance to decide on expanding the town’s library in June’s municipal election.

Library Director Kim Diehm said the Library District Board of Trustees recently decided to move forward with another ballot question seeking voter approval to fund a smaller renovation after the previous one failed.

“When the ballot question did not pass last November, it was deemed necessary to take all the information from multiple public meetings and prioritize the needs again,” she said. “Of all the library needs, the following items will be sacrificed from the plans: amphitheater shading/updates, youth enclosed play area, balcony, service drive for deliveries and painting the building, which brings the overall cost down nearly $2 million.”

Originally the library was planning a $10.5 million renovation. The new one is approximately $8.6 million.

Diehm said the originally planned upgrades to the main floor would still be done, which will create a new entrance with a shorter walk to the front doors, more restrooms, study rooms and meeting rooms.

“The biggest change includes building out only one-third of the entire basement,” she said. “The youth department details will have to be redesigned, as the original space allotted is reduced by half.”

Diehm also said having more meeting rooms is still a priority.

“Meeting room use by the community is in constant high demand, and the library turns away several groups weekly due to the rooms already being used,” she said.

Diehm said the library has maxed out its space for new materials, and staffers have worked hard for the past five years to make room for new ones by getting rid of outdated or damaged items, multiple copies of items and older series.

“Additional bookshelves have been added in the teen and large-print areas to gain more shelf space, but adding more would decrease public seating areas,” she said. “The new space will accommodate plans for the relief of the crowded large-print books, the books in the new arrival section, the DVDs and CDs and also allow for growth in those areas.”

To pay for the renovation, the library board is seeking general obligation bonds that are expected to raise property taxes for 21 years. A resident with a home whose taxable value is $200,000 would pay $63 more a year in taxes, or $5.25 a month, Diehm said.

The previous ballot proposal was estimated to cost owners of a home of that value approximately $84 more a year in taxes.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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