Archive for Thursday, May 18, 2006

Library branches

May 18, 2006


To the editor:

I read with interest the proposed and costly ideas regarding the expansion of our local public library.

While I appreciate the civic interest by the various local VIP families in this much-needed project, I heartily object to the proposal of deriving private benefit from a public service. I strenuously object to allowing private interests to in any way influence property use of a public entity. The city library must have the ability to remain independent of any attached or contiguous profit-driven commercial tenant/landlord development.

Meanwhile, the city has deemed it inappropriate to consider satellite library branches in Lawrence. In light of the many vacant buildings around town suitable for such conversion, and of the developer's "guess-timate" costs to expand the current site, I would like to see what the projected costs are for purchase and conversion of various vacant properties around town, such as the old Furr's Cafeteria sitting abandoned at 23rd and Iowa Streets, in combination with a more modest expansion proposal of our current site.

Establishing satellite offices has benefited our post office, city and county treasurer's offices, and more. All recognize the viability of building additional schools instead of adding onto existing ones. Why not our library too? Along with the development of a northwest shopping district, why not include a satellite library branch as well?

Deborah Snyder,



Richard Heckler 11 years, 10 months ago

A consultant at one of the earlier public meetings regarding satellites stated they are not efficient. However many cities employ them. Lawrence is still a small town but likely could support at least one satellite.

Or perhaps our High School libraries could become managed by our City librarian thus relieving USD 497 of that expense while providing more public choices.

monkeyhawk 11 years, 10 months ago

Ms. Snyder,

Satellite branches do not benefit downtown. It is all about how to fleece the taxpayer to redevelop downtown, disguised as a library. Why do you think Compton, et. al. own most of downtown now? The people in the "Other Lawrence" are not given any consideration except to collect taxes that fund the city by a much larger percentage than any other area of town.

lunacydetector 11 years, 10 months ago

what's up with Furr's anyway? they had the best Burgers.

yes, this boondoggle will be a major waste of the taxpayer's money...

gr 11 years, 10 months ago

"Other Lawrence"

Interesting thought, but could there be two taxing districts - a downtown, and the rest of Lawrence?

I think some places do have multiple taxing districts. How does that come about and what is needed to get it on the ballot? While those in control would not want that, there is a majority of voters not in downtown.

Confrontation 11 years, 10 months ago

If there were satellite library branches, I could just picture the complaints on this site and elsewhere. "West Lawrence is getting better books in their library branch." "South Lawrence's library has a nicer restroom." "East Lawrence's library is just crappy."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 10 months ago

The reason for the focus on maintaining downtown as the main, central business district is relatively simple: Without that focus, it could easily fall into decline and become blighted, which would eventually be far more expensive to the city than preserving and improving this valuable asset.

lunacydetector 11 years, 10 months ago

if you look at how much revenue is generated by other commercial areas like 23rd street, iowa street, & 6th street, - you will find that downtown lawrence contributes the least amount in sales taxes and property taxes. it pales in comparision.

so, downtown as it stands today has many vacant spaces - when compared to other parts of lawrence that has little or no vacancies. this is a direct result on the 'no growth' policy implimented by the city. the direct result of the 'no growth' policies drove up the rent prices and the property taxes increased because of the high rent rates downtown.

downtown does not get near the traffic of the other retail areas of lawrence. there is a correction going on today. though downtown is beautiful, it will be successful as long as a gigantic mall is not built. another disaster was the riverfront mall - which was supported by the 'no growthers.' it was a dismal failure - as well as the tanger outlet mall - another development supported by the 'no growthers.' the people making the decisions do NOT know what they are doing.

there needs to be someone who is visionary leading this city. someone who thinks outside of the box. someone who is NOT divisive. perhaps, someone who actually owns a business would be good. amyx owns a business, so there needs to be others elected that actually have some business savvy.

lunacydetector 11 years, 10 months ago

...and tony88, infrastructure costs to repair or replace are much higher in a high density older area like the downtown. imagine how horrrible downtown would be if the other commercial areas in town didn't support the downtown by their large sales/property tax revenues, because it is quite obvious, downtown cannot support itself.

lunacydetector 11 years, 10 months ago

i totally agree about the satellite libraries. there is a glut of empty offices in lawrence, the city should try to help. there are some people that took some huge risks and they have been paying dearly for years now. i'm surprised at the city.

monkeyhawk 11 years, 10 months ago

Tony88 wrote:

In the case of the separate taxing districts, could downtown's tax revenue be withheld from being used for improvements for all the other districts and suburban developments (water/sewer lines, 4 lane roads, power lines, etc.)

I would take that deal, where do I sign up?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 10 months ago

"another disaster was the riverfront mall - which was supported by the 'no growthers.' it was a dismal failure - as well as the tanger outlet mall - another development supported by the 'no growthers.'"

Jeez, luny, you've reached a new level of newspeak/gobbeldyguk.

lunacydetector 11 years, 10 months ago

no bozo, i lived here when those things happened. i just have a good memory. the kooks were in love with both proposals.

as for tony88, there was an article in the JW about this very issue a few years back regarding where the most sales taxes/property taxes generated. i'll do some research finding a link when i get more time.

i don't think any downward trend was a result of new development. i am trying to recall a recent retail development within the past five years - other than the hobb's taylor loft shops downtown.

traffic counts on mass are far lower than on iowa, 6th, and 23rd. it is safe to assume that retail sales will be much lower - i will have to find that story as proof.

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