Advertisement

Archive for Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lawrence library wants $18 million expansion, asks city to schedule public vote

Len Hanson, of Lawrence, browses the shelves Wednesday at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt. The library reports a dramatic upsurge in patrons in the past year, possibly as a result of the national economic crisis.

Len Hanson, of Lawrence, browses the shelves Wednesday at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt. The library reports a dramatic upsurge in patrons in the past year, possibly as a result of the national economic crisis.

March 17, 2010, 12:01 p.m. Updated March 17, 2010, 5:37 p.m.

Advertisement

Library expansion plan progressing

A plan to add about 20,000 square feet to the Lawrence Public Library is currently in the works. The plan could go before the city commission as soon as next week. Enlarge video

Reader poll
Do you support the Lawrence Public Library's wish to ask voters in November for a property tax increase to fund an $18 million expansion of its downtown facility?

or See the results without voting

Leaders of the Lawrence Public Library want to ask voters in November for a property tax increase to fund an $18 million expansion of its downtown facility.

Library director Bruce Flanders said the library board soon will ask city commissioners for a November ballot question that would allow the library to add up to 20,000 square feet to its building at Seventh and Vermont streets.

“The library board doesn’t take this lightly, given the economic environment we are in now,” Flanders said. “We really wrestled with it, but in a down economy, library usage is way up. We want to be able to more fully serve the community because people need the library more than ever.”

City commissioners are scheduled to discuss the project next Tuesday when they begin conversations about the 2011 budget.

“It is like anything else right now,” City Commissioner Mike Amyx said. “Going out to sell any type of tax increase is a little bit tough, but when you are trying to sell it for something that is extremely well run and provides a great service, I think it is something people will support.”

Parking included

Specific plans for an expansion — which likely would add to the south side of the building — have not been designed, but Flanders said any plan would include several key additions, such as:

• A doubling in space for the library’s children’s room.

• An increase of about two times the space for community meeting rooms.

• Significant new areas for at least 95 additional public computers.

• A single-story parking structure that would be built above the current parking lot. The current proposal is to lower the existing lot to be level with Kentucky street, which runs along the west edge of the library. The new parking lot would be built above the current lot and would be level with Vermont Street, which runs along the east edge of the library.

• A conversion of parallel parking spaces into angled parking spaces on portions of Vermont and Seventh streets.

In total, Flanders is estimating all the parking changes would result in about 52 additional parking spaces for the area.

“This is probably a partial solution for our parking,” Flanders said. “But we also need to realize that as Lawrence grows, we will not always have door-front parking available for everything in our community.”

A larger parking structure greatly would have added to the cost of any project, Flanders said.

Usage up

At an estimated cost of $18 million, the proposed project would add about 2 mills to the city’s property tax rate. About 1.5 mills would be needed for 20 years to pay for the construction of the project. An additional 0.5 mill would be needed in perpetuity to fund increased operating costs for a larger library.

A mill is $1 in property tax for every $1,000 in assessed valuation. On a $200,000 home, a 2-mill increase would amount to $46 in new taxes for the year.

Flanders said library board members believe the timing for the project is right because library usage has soared as the economy has soured. Patrons checked out 1.3 million items in 2009, which was up 11 percent from the previous year. That growth rate also was higher than the historical increase of about 8 percent per year.

If commissioners approve the library’s request, the issue would be on the Nov. 2 ballot. Flanders said commissioners could approve the project without a referendum, but the library board believes a public vote is important.

“We feel this is a more open, public way to go about it,” Flanders said.

Comments

kugrad 4 years, 9 months ago

I am a regular library patron. I go at least once a week. While I support the library, I feel that this proposal is unrealistic in terms of overall cost. First of all, a property tax increase places the greatest burden of the cost on homeowners, which isn't really fair. Why should I have a $50 tax increase a year for the next 20 years (when we know other taxes will rise) which is essentially a $1000 increase for the average Lawrence home? What about a combination of tax sources as it is widely recognized that the burden of state tax cuts have fallen on local property owners over the last 15 years. I don't know the laws of city finance, so let me just ask - couldn't some bonds be sold, some private funds raised, and perhaps vote on a 1/2 cent sales tax or something that is shared by everyone who lives in the area? Why put it ALL on property owners? There are public meeting rooms around town that aren't always used: South Park for example. The Community Theatre building can be rented, the public schools all have auditoriums or gyms or libraries that can be used for public meetings. In these budgetary times, we need to keep in mind that we have options. I agree that there is more room needed in the children's section, this part of the plan I understand. I fail to see why the taxpayers should provide so many computer terminals. Here is a classic example of asking some taxpayers to pay to support others who are not paying their own way. In this day and age, most homes can afford computer access. There are a number of places for children to get free computer access, especially at school. If you have a laptop, one can get free wi-fi all over town. Every property owner in town that wants a computer can afford one. So, why should property owners pay for a service they clearly won't use? There are enough terminals that everyone can get a chance to use one. Maybe it isn't as convenient as instantly getting access on demand, but that is the way of the world. Beggers can't be choosers. I value our library, but I can't support a total-fix package that alleviates every concern all at once. I don't think we can afford it. If the economy turns around in the next 5 years, I would support it, but not now. Not while everyone is strapped for funds. There are other things, like public education, that have a much greater immediate need for increased funding, likely to come from taxes. So this project needs more planning, some fat trimmed, and additional funding mechanisms that spread the cost among consumers to be explored. Here is a suggestion: Limit internet access time to a certain amount per day and per month. After that, charge a few dollars per hour for the access. Let those who use pay at least part of the cost. These are my current feelings, but thoughtful ideas might change my mind over time.

bendover61 4 years, 9 months ago

I go to the library, are these people insane?

jeromepichette 4 years, 9 months ago

$18 million. I think that they are crazy. The library board just wants to have a BIGGER & MORE LAVISH facility than Topeka. Lets do with what we have. My wife and I winter in Phoenix and utilitize a real nice and small library near our home and we feel that this facility is far nicer that Lawrence's facility. In hard times, like now, do with what you have.

chzypoof1 4 years, 9 months ago

They have got to be kidding, right? No matter how much you want to deny it, libraries are not as important as they once were. At the touch of a button, you can find tons of data on any subject you desire. If you want to add more computers, fine, take out some of the "paper" sections. If you need more money, charge a fee to check out books/movies.

This is NOT a public service that is necessary like street repairs and snow removal. We should not be forced to pay higher taxes to have a lavish library that will be underused.

poof

Danimal 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm not sure that now is the time for a huge chunk of spending like this. Lawrence needs to improve and update its libraries, but it also needs to update and improve its streets, fire equipment, waste water system, etc. Lawrence is getting so far behind on a lot of these issues I'm not sure how the City will pay for any of it without massive amounts of state or Federal assistance.

whiskeysour 4 years, 9 months ago

I agree wholeheartedly with the previous posters. The portions of the plan that are especially problematic for me are the parking garage and computer terminals. For an additional 52 spots they are going to spend an incredible amount of money. . . . clearly not a good return on the investment.

The comment about computer access being something most have (ie those that would be paying for this proposal) is another good point. While I could understand, I suppose, the need for more terminals 95 seems a bit high. Moreover, constructing additional space for them is also high. This is 2010, laptops are affordable and could be mobile. . . with the secuirty features already in place to prevent book theft (ie alarms on doors) just purchase some laptops for check out/use.

There is no way this should pass, and they were morons for even suggesting it.

Chris Ogle 4 years, 9 months ago

What are people thinking.... Why more taxes now when most of us are broke?

Jennifer Alexander 4 years, 9 months ago

If commissioners approve the request, the issue would be on the Nov. 2 ballot. Flanders said legally commissioners could approve the project without a referendum, but the library board believes a public vote is important.

“We feel this is a more open, public way to go about it,” Flanders said.

At least they are giving the public an option to vote yes or no.

I use the library, and if times were not as tough, I would vote yes for this. But, right now is not the right time.

matahari 4 years, 9 months ago

once again, "library needs more money story." Why don't they invest in a homeless shelter so the transients will have another place to hang out and sleep instead of the library?

make_a_difference 4 years, 9 months ago

I am a huge supporter of our public library...have been for years.

But...they are nuts to be proposing such a thing at this time!!!

It also wouldn't be very responsible if money were spent to put this on a ballet either.

50YearResident 4 years, 9 months ago

With the economy the way it is this is not the right time! Save the cost of puttting it to a vote because it will not be approved. I vote: No

PennyBrite 4 years, 9 months ago

probably not a good time to announce this so close to the hoopla with the school budgets. I'll wait and see what the schools decide to do -- I think people need to consider the public school situation first.......but for me, it's not the time to be looking for a whole lot of money for the library. Do with what we have for a little longer and hope the economy turns around a bit first.

amrose42683 4 years, 9 months ago

I use the library weekly, I take my daughter for story/craft time on Sundays. This is one of the few places in Lawrence that I can take my child to go to something fun for her that is low/no cost. However, we have heard from the librarians that hours being cut/changed and a hike in late fees were due to the "underuse" of the library, but we read here that there is more demand at the library due to the economic climate. I can understand an increased use of the library more so than a decrease. Were the librarians instructed to tell the public otherwise due to the actual profit of the increased fees to go a project such as this one?
Who knows. I do know that the children's section definitely needs more space. It is extremely cramped in there and with the attendance of story times and events growing, there just not enough room. One can barely walk through there without running into a bookshelf. Everything else ... well, I've never had a hard time finding a parking spot within a decent distance and I normally look up what books I want and where to find them and/or reserve them on my home computer/laptop so I rarely use the library computers. I've never seen a "demand" for computer usage while being at the library (granted there could be heavier traffic flow at other times when I'm not present). Like others have said above, now is definitely not the time to ask for this kind of money from the public. Schools, roads, etc need to be looked at and taken care of first. I'm glad they're putting this to a public vote. I wish they could take it down a few notches for me to consider voting "yes" but this proposal needs A LOT of work first.

Mari Aubuchon 4 years, 9 months ago

Why not renovate the old Carnegie Library as a children's library as well as for meeting spaces instead of adding onto the current library? Athough parking can be problematic during swimming pool season, I don't think that this is the time to spend additional money on a parking garage.

thelonious 4 years, 9 months ago

So it works out to $900 per square foot? Must be planning to have the Fritzel empire build it.

filmguru 4 years, 9 months ago

The entire scope of the library's $18M project seems skewed toward growth -- expansion of the children's section, more community rooms, more parking space, and more computers. Yet, nowhere in their plan do they mention improving the selection of books.

I understand that -- because of KU -- Lawrence has a few good libraries. But I think that the Lawrence library should spend its money on obtaining and maintaining a quality collection, first and foremost. I visited the library a few weeks ago and was surprised by how meager the selection was throughout.

That $18M could buy a host of new books, and vastly improve the quality of the library's collection.

ralphralph 4 years, 9 months ago

They could just deem it to be approved and start building.

Mari Aubuchon 4 years, 9 months ago

I could not agree with filmguru more. The most important improvement to our library would be ....BOOKS!

WHY 4 years, 9 months ago

for 18 million they could put the homeless shelter inside the library. Oh wait that is who uses it now. They need more computers and more cots for homeless web surfers, and a private room for adult surfing would be greatly appreciated by the local homeless. What else can we do for those who do so little in these tough times.

irvan moore 4 years, 9 months ago

Why would they spend library funds on the parking, it's a CITY parking lot, not the library parking lot. Rver notice all the people using it for downtown all day parking, all afternoon swimming pool parking? It is NOT the library parking lot. The library is a wonderfull resource for our city but I think they could utilize the space they have better before wanting us to pay for expansion. I also wonder why everything has to be payed for by property owners, why don't we charge a public services useage fee to those who rent (yes, that would include all the students in dorm rooms and apartments too). That would add to the school and other budgets and take a little of the burden from the homeowners.

Kash_Encarri 4 years, 9 months ago

I've never used the computers at the Lawrence library so maybe they already to this, but in JoCo library system you have to swipe your library card at the terminal and that starts your clock ticking on the use of that terminal. Once your hour is up, you have to give up the terminal if there are other patrons waiting for one.

thoughtpolice 4 years, 9 months ago

It is understandable there is some "sticker shock" to the $18 million cost, particularly now. The reality is that most of us don't live in $200,000 homes and will pay less in taxes than the article states. The article also doesn't mention the impact the project would have on the local economy...how many jobs will this create? The renovation may also prove to be a draw for downtown shops and restaurants.

Many negative comments seem to focus on only one particular aspect of the project - parking space, computers, and meeting space. The current library facility was built when the population was significantly smaller and the circulation was one-fourth of what it is today. Little has been done in four decades to improve the structure, so now the city is faced with what seems to be a lot all at once. In the long run it is more cost effective to address this as one project rather than piecemeal as someone has suggested.

Many cannot afford books, laptops or internet service and the library offers the only way that they can get the information they need. Many companies now accept only online applications and resumes. The unfortunate snide comments about the homeless aside, the library serves the entire community. Sure, a few may use the library as a place to sleep, but many, many more rely on the library for their informational needs or even to find a job.

The school funding argument is a compelling one; but fails to address the fact that it compares apples and oranges. The significant funding cuts to the schools are due to state funding reductions. The city isn't making a choice between financing the library renovations and paying teachers. However, given the challenges to our public schools, the library will out of necessity become an even more important resource for children and educators. Currently the library is well below the Northeast Library System standard for computers and the children's room no longer can meet the demand for programs. These additions aren't to build "a bigger & more lavish facility than Topeka", but to meet the needs of Lawrence community as a whole. Filmguru and Mari mention the need for a better selection of books, but where would these additional books go?

The article fails to mention that this proposal is a scaled down from earlier proposals of $30 million. Moreover, the project is an opportunity to make the facility more "green" with energy efficiency enhancements. It would be helpful to know what impact this will have on operating costs over the same 20 year period.

Certainly $18 million is a lot of money in tough times and may seem rash at first blush. But let's reserve our decision until we have more facts. I don't think that smartass comments about the homeless or misinformed experts droning on about cost per square foot is helpful to the discussion (did_I_say_that, the amount is for the library space, renovations AND additional parking, so your math is off).

BigPrune 4 years, 9 months ago

$18,000,000 / 20,000 square feet = $900 per square foot. Sure I understand that this doesn't include the single level parking garage, just trying to figure out the cost/benefit it will be to the citizens who frequent the library. How many people use the library per year again?

$200 per square foot is a VERY nice building.

justsayin77 4 years, 9 months ago

How fortunate that we commenters have computers that enable us to make statements about the library that run the gamut -- hopeful, cynical, misinformed, positive, judgmental, homeless-phobic, negative, and factual. (Had to look hard for the hopeful and positive, as usual). Oh wait -- maybe some of us don't have our own computers, but are logged on right now at the library.

Hard economic times = increased library use. Check it out-- the Paradox of Increased Library Use: http://www.cslib.org/connector/09connector04.pdf

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

Absolutely. The library needs the attention. It is a very very busy place.

Making great use of existing resources.

USD 497 should take note. This is process by which USD 497 should operate. USD 497 handed USD 497 taxpayers a tax increase without OUR approval. That extravagant spending on the sports project NOT justified = reckless spending. USD 497 should be called on this big time!

USD 497 school buildings needed the money... the board knew this.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

By not maintaining and improving the existing structure creates a tax increase.

Annual neglect = costs more to mend on the long term = tax increase

kugrad 4 years, 9 months ago

Thoughtpolice I appreciate your thoughtful response. However, I think there is adequate computer access now, one simply has to wait. It is also quite easy to use the computer labs at KU, they never ask for an ID. Almost everyone knows someone who does have a computer, so access isn't all that difficult to obtain. The average property value in Lawrence is over $200,000, so although it is technically true that "most of us don't live in $200,000 homes," it is also true that those who have handled their finances and do own a home will, once again, be asked to foot the bill for everyone else. It is a tax increase on homeowners. I appreciate that the project is scaled down, and at some point in what I hope is the near future, I would support it; but now is just not a good time to put more burden on property owners. Most recent tax increases affect homeowners more than anyone else. The middle class bears the tax burden for the rest of society. For this reason, I think it is reasonable to ask the library to look for user fees for internet access after a certain amount of free time, to seek donations from the community, to sell munincipal bonds of some sort, and seek methods other than a simple reliance on property taxes. If the timing was different, I'd be more supportive, but I find this difficult to swallow at present since the library does an admirable job of meeting my families needs at present.

plantlover_61 4 years, 9 months ago

I would be happy to pay more taxes if the money was going to USD497. Let's put the children first their education is the future not a larger library!!!

Menazort 4 years, 9 months ago

This proposal is imprudent.

Adding 95 computers is absurd and would only further enable people living at a terminal for upwards of 12 hours a day. The thought of touching one of the existing LPL computers would be tantamount to the terrible prospect of sitting down on a public toilet at Borders or any other establishment downtown. I may be a bit neurotic when it comes to public filth and disease, but I can't seen most citizens excited about potential for greater access to public computers at the library. This increase is short sighted (should look to enable wireless access for personal laptops) and would only enable more squatters to live at a workstation all day playing poker, searching porn, or playing second life.

Usage and circulation definitely increase during recessions but this is cyclical. I would wager dollars to doughnuts that much of the increase is focused on media (DVD's, CD's and Video Games) rather than fiction and nonfiction books. I don't think any of the proposed additions will facilitate literacy and foster greater exchange of ideas and thought so this is seems ultimately to be a waste of money.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 9 months ago

I love books. I usually have 3 books going at the same time. So I appreciate what the library is asking for. I like their passion. I love their passion. That being said, we cannot afford this at this time.

Companies have accountants to tell them what they can afford.

It is okay to have vision and passion. That is a great thing.

Somebody has to come through the door and tell you that we cannot afford this at this time. Sorry.

This is one of those times. Sorry.

verity 4 years, 9 months ago

Once again the "fact" that only homeowners pay property tax and renters/students do not comes up. They may not pay it directly, but certainly it is included in the rent, isn't it?

As for the proposed spending, I think that more thought should be put into how libraries will be used the future. The world is changing quickly and we should be forward looking rather than basing plans on what has happened in the past.

parrothead8 4 years, 9 months ago

If hard economic times = increased library use, then what happens in a few years when our economy is on the rebound? Does that mean library use will go back down? And then we'll be stuck paying for a massive, under-used building for the next twenty years?

thoughtpolice 4 years, 9 months ago

I owe an apology to did_I_say_that. I have complained often about the civility of discourse on the blogs and my response to his points were unkind and inappropriate. I'm sorry.

I will point out, however, the the article notes that "specific plans for an expansion...have not been designed." If did_I_say_that's cost figures are correct, that could mean that expansion project could be awarded at significantly less than $18 million after bids are put out for plans. Also, I don't know what other costs are included in the $18 million. I think that there is more to this than dividing square footage by total cost. I'm not an architect or engineer, so will rely on others with more expertise.

As I mentioned before, I would like to hear more about the proposal. The Library Board is attempting to be transparent about the process. That's a good thing. If they are simply asking to put this on the ballot and let the voters/taxpayers decide, I think that is fair. Let them make the case the expansion is necessary to serve the community. I'm willing to consider the Board's proposal because I feel that this is one of few opportunities to support a public project has a potential impact across such a large cross-section of Lawrence citizens.

thoughtpolice 4 years, 9 months ago

kugrad

Thanks for your comments. It is ironic that the efforts of the library staff to overcome space and funding issues may actually be a reason not to support the project. I think they work hard and try to serve the community as best as they can under the circumstances. In my opinion they succeed more often than not.

I think it is also interesting that your argument focuses on residential property owners. I agree. Lawrence's tax base continues to overly dependent on homeowners. Yet, continued opposition to any form of growth or new business, prevents this from changing. I don't know whether an improved library would be an asset in attracting new jobs and businesses to Lawrence. Again, it would be a case for the Library Board to make to the commission and the voters.

I disagree that computer access is easy to obtain for everyone. I don't find it easy to do anything at KU (I'm am not a student or graduate), so not sure I want to rely on them for computer access. Moreover, I don't think that the discussion is simply about more computers. I think people need to look more broadly at the overall proposal. Agree or disagree, this proposal is considering expansion to children's services, additional downtown parking, better services to patrons, more computer access, AND access to community meeting rooms.

Obviously, I can't speak for everyone, but I think $46 per year in additional taxes a small price to improve what the library offers to the community. Given school funding issues, I'm particularly supportive of expanding the children's area. I think I also read that the recent improvements to the library, such as the computer lab and business center, were financed by private and corporate donations, so it sounds like library administrators are trying to do everything they can to utilize both public and private financing wisely. Isn't their job to speak up for what they need? At least they are being open about it.

Several of the commenters say that they are library supporters, but reluctant to support now. Is the issue mainly the cost of the project or the timing? Would a project of less than $18 million receive more support? Just a thought for commissioners to consider.

cowboy 4 years, 9 months ago

If this were a private company and a staff manager came into a board meeting and proposed this during today's economic times they would most probably be fired on the spot. Bricks and mortar libraries are a thing of the past. Flanders and the Board have displayed their complete lack of awareness in proposing this albatross now.

jhawk0097 4 years, 9 months ago

"However, I think there is adequate computer access now, one simply has to wait. It is also quite easy to use the computer labs at KU, they never ask for an ID."

lol. Brilliant. Unless you arrive at the library at the moment they open, there's usually a wait to use the computers that can last as long as an hour. Good luck getting on a computer at KU w/o your KU online ID and password. Even in trying times, the amount requested is a pittance. Surely the people of Lawrence can avoid eating out once per year for the public good. Yeesh.

parrothead8 4 years, 9 months ago

jhawk0097 (anonymous) says… Even in trying times, the amount requested is a pittance. Surely the people of Lawrence can avoid eating out once per year for the public good. Yeesh.

I already avoid eating out almost every night, and it has nothing to do with "the public good." It has everything to do with "my financial well-being." Sorry, but not everyone is as financially secure as you appear to be. I would much rather, if my property taxes are going to go up, see the funds used towards our struggling schools than towards a public library most people won't use once the economy has improved.

jackpot 4 years, 9 months ago

Per the state of Kansas renters pay 15% of the rent in property taxes. At lease that's what they allow when you file for the Homestead refund.

jhawk0097 4 years, 9 months ago

Did, ouch! In that case, put down the book and strap on the feed bag.

Parrot, I'm certainly not well-off, or even doing well at all. I just know that when push comes to shove I'd rather make a few extremely minor concessions to improve something that benefits the community, thereby benefiting me many times over. Something simple like weening oneself off sugar water drinks could raise the money (and then some) while also improving one's health. How in the world would $45 over the course of a year make or break your financial security?

OnAir 4 years, 9 months ago

Can anyone tell me the specifics of anything other than that the Library wants the voters to make a decision in November? These posts are nothing more than shoot first and aim later, and only cause people to divide on principle without knowing any facts to support their opinions. Why don't we see what is actually on the table before saying 'yes' or 'no,' and stop wasting time reading between lines that have not even been drawn.

LogicMan 4 years, 9 months ago

Another unfortunate, ill-timed proposal from this head librarian.

It would be much, much more cost effective to open flexible branches in some of the underused strip shopping centers around town.

And to move the adult uses/entertainment out of the main library to the Carnegie building. The main library would become children-only which would minimize the transient problem and increase safety.

Time for a new library leader?

thoughtpolice 4 years, 9 months ago

jhawk0097 says " I just know that when push comes to shove I'd rather make a few extremely minor concessions to improve something that benefits the community, thereby benefiting me many times over. "

I couldn't agree more. Particularly given the school funding issues some have referenced, I'm willing to pay $45 to ensure that kids have some place to get help with homework, hear a story, or take out a book. The stated plan is to double the children's area and that's a huge plus for me. How many of us remember as kids going to the library? It was a big deal and at least for me instilled a life-long love of reading and learning. I'd pay double to ensure that the next generation has that opportunity.

LogicMan says "It would be much, much more cost effective to open flexible branches in some of the underused strip shopping centers around town."

I don't agree. First, I don't think that one satellite would work. Where would it go? The west side, the east side, North Lawrence? Many people would want the convenience so you end up with multiple satellites. Will our political leaders be willing to make a decision to place a satellite in my neighborhood, but not yours? Moreover, the cost of running a multi-satellite might not be $18 million up front, but it would certainly add up in operating costs year over year. I'd much rather see a project that supports downtown Lawrence.

LogicMan says: "Time for a new library leader?"

Come on. Flanders and the library have been underfunded for years. I think in some ways that they are a victim of their own success. They've provided admirable service to the community and even received recognition for their efforts. People complain about the stained carpet and furniture. How does that make the library director a poor library leader? I don't think that he and the board are out of touch for asking to fund something that has been put off for years. There will never be a "perfect" time to do this. I say put it on the ballot and let the library state its case to the voters.

Sean Livingstone 4 years, 9 months ago

As an engineer, let me propose to them, give the facility a $1million to build one more level, and then use the other $17 millions to buy books, CD, DVD etc. Upgrading the interior doesn't require $18 millions dude. Thanks.

ou812mr2 4 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps they could use the empty T buses as mobile libraries?

BigPrune 4 years, 9 months ago

Who came up with this ridiculous cost estimate? How much will this public vote cost the taxpayers?

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 9 months ago

This is a great example of why people continue to vote for Republicans even though they hate them. Like me.

I am going to go out on a limb and guess that almost all of the people promoting this kind of expense at this time are Democrats.

The timing is just irresponsible.

thoughtpolice 4 years, 9 months ago

livingstone says "As an engineer, let me propose to them, give the facility a $1million to build one more level, and then use the other $17 millions to buy books, CD, DVD etc. Upgrading the interior doesn't require $18 millions dude. Thanks."

When the architects looked at a new library a couple of years ago, it was determined that the current facility could not support an upper floor, so building an additional level is not an option and certainly would cost more than $1 million. $17 million to buy books, CDs, DVDs etc. would be great, but there still needs to be space to put them.

KsTwister 4 years, 9 months ago

The whole City of Greenburg cost less then that...ROTFLOL....you guys are NUTS!!!

friendlyjhawk 4 years, 9 months ago

NO, NO, NO I love the library but another tax to pay for the $18 million upgrade is not appropriate. The services it offers now are adequate, the loan system can get what they don't have and extra meeting rooms to sit empty and heat or cool until needed aren't necessary. Make what we have work....oh, and teach your staff to smile at the patrons, we all aren't homeless and using the building for shelter.

mr_right_wing 4 years, 9 months ago

This is a joke, right? They cannot be serious about this, are they? How about they just plant some money trees around the library and use those funds.......?

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

Schedule the vote for next spring.

It will make a great election issue!

volunteer 4 years, 9 months ago

I agree with one-eyed wlbur's first post. The amount of 18 mil is way too much, just as Topeka's was way too much. Shampoo the carpet, add a wing for more space for books (not movies) and buy more books.

Don't add a coffee shop that competes with local tax-paying businesses, and try to ensure a friendly customer-service mind-set among employees. In Topeka as one wanders through the cavernous building trying to find...books ..(that were so easy to locate in the old library), one sees three employees sitting at every station chatting among themselves.

guess_again 4 years, 9 months ago

I am surprised that a number of people who have posted here, who also decried the need of the school board to examine the issue of school closures, are indicating they oppose a yet to be fully defined effort to improve the library.

Of course, the school board members supporting the "Save Our Neighborhood Schools" supported motions both to eviscerate 6th grade music, and the school libraries collections budget.

So my neighborhood school, which is half empty, remains open. My city library, which has always been underfunded and is an embarrassment, remains underfunded.

I'm noticing all this, for future reference. And yes, this means kugrad, tomatogrower, alm77, and did_I_say_that, among others.

I look forward to the library board providing more details to this proposal. Right now, everything looks to me to be conceptual and rough estimates.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 9 months ago

Relax and have a popsicle, paulette. It's a cool and fruity treat on a winter day.

fastwalker 4 years, 9 months ago

hey lawrence, your tax dollars are automatically contributing to criminal wars that kill hundreds of thousands of innocent women and children across the middle east, but you are scared to spend money on education here in your own city? please explain

Bladerunner 4 years, 9 months ago

I say put it to a vote. Then we can vote it down and be done with it once and for all!

parrothead8 4 years, 9 months ago

jhawk0097 (anonymous) says… How in the world would $45 over the course of a year make or break your financial security?

Because it's not the first "$45 over the course of a year" I've been asked for this year. And, in case you haven't noticed (although I'm sure you have), most family's wages aren't exactly keeping up with the rising costs of living.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.