Usually, its the staff reports that hold the really fun stuff, but this week its the minutes that are really exciting. This week, we read about (from General Government committee meeting back in August) about a survey to see if folks want a new library, possibly one on the west side:
Present from the Timberland Regional Library were:
Dick Nichols and Judy Weaver, Board members; Jody Reng, Executive Director; Michael Crose, Administrative Services Manager; Sally Nash, Public Services Manager; and Michael Wessells, Community Relations Manager.
Ms. Reng noted that Timberland hired an independent consultant to conduct the survey.
Alison Peters of Alison Peters Consulting reviewed results from the community survey conducted by the Library Board in July. She distributed a handout with methodology and survey results. She noted that the survey was a telephone poll conducted in mid-July for about a 5 day period. The sample size was 600 completed polls from all residents with a telephone. Cell phone numbers were included.
- 86% of respondents rated the quality of life in Olympia as excellent or good.
- About 20% of respondents are regular users of the downtown library, 37% occasional users, and 43% infrequent users, with age being the defining characteristic (younger used more frequently).
- A majority think the current library is meeting the present needs
- 60% believe the current library will not meet the needs of the community in 5-10 years (growth in on their mind).
- The vast majority expressed strong early support for a second facility or an expansion.
- There is slightly more support for a second library as opposed to relocating the downtown library.
- Strong interest in partnership/shared library space, possibly with South Puget Sound Community College.
- 47% would support a tax increase for expansion.
Councilmember Kingsbury noted that he is intrigued by the interest in partnership with South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) which is located at the boarder of Olympia and Tumwater, and if there would be eventual additional partnership potential with the City of Tumwater.
Ms. Reng noted that the SPSCC site isn’t the only Westside location identified in the survey.
Mr. Crose noted that SPSCC has money in this biennium to remodel their building 22 to include a library.
Mr. Nichols mentioned that the board of trustees is not pushing this issue or a particular site. The board conducted the survey and offered the information so that there was beginning information for the City of Olympia to consider.
Mr. Hyer noted that a second location is more overhead for the library system than a single location. He said that information about operations of a second location would be helpful. Mr. Crose noted that the opening of a full service second library would be somewhere in the range of $1 to $1.5 million per year. An expanded single library would be increased operating cost in the $750,000 area.
Councilmember Johnson noted that Olympia does not have a library in the Capital Facilities Plan, and what the survey would indicate is that the public supports beginning to plan for a new library or expansion.
Committee members asked to be provided with a copy of the final report for the City’s records.
I really like the idea of a west side library, and I really like the idea of partnering with an educational institution to house one. But, my experience with SPSCC is that its sort of out of the way and kind of hard to access (I've always had parking issues out there). A more centrally located school (like Capital HS) would be a better option.
Last Tuesday the full council had a study session on what they should ask the legislature for this year. Being a city housing the state capital and much of the state government, we get to worry about this kind of thing:
Assistant City Manager Subir Mukerjee and Legislative Liaison Sharon Case briefed the Council on the upcoming legislative session and the city’s proposed legislative agenda.
The 2008 legislative session is a short session. No new spending bills are expected. The session starts on January 14th, and the timelines are very tight. We will have to hit the ground running.
Staff recommends focusing the city’s efforts on laying the groundwork for a 2009 funding request for the Percival Landing by keeping the legislators updated on the status of the projects.
Staff also recommends supporting the Hands On Children’s Museums efforts to apply for funding through the Building for the Arts program which is a competitive process.
Other recommended issues of interests are State Office Buildings, Infrastructure Funding, Puget Sound Partnership, Governor’s Climate Action Team, and Reclaimed Water issues.
Council discussion centered on the following:
- Council is supportive of the focused approach described above.
- Explore the environmental and educations opportunities of both the projects along with the work being proposed by LOTT as well as the Puget Sound Partnership.
- If the legislature makes supplemental budget adjustments for the Department of Information and Department of General Administration projects, work with them on mitigation measures for the loss of visitor parking as well as parking for the DASH shuttle.
- If no mitigation measures are put in place, it could have adverse impacts on the S. Capitol neighborhood.
- Work on the State projects could be an opportunity to replace aging utility lines in the area.
- Council also agrees with the list of issues of interest as listed above.
- State Office Buildings should be listed under “Top Priority Issues.”
- We will try to schedule a breakfast meeting with the local legislative delegation either in December of early January.
- Staff will finalize the list of legislative issues and bring it back to the City Council for approval on consent calendar.