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North Branch

Begin January 2021

15,000 square foot branch library as a part of the Linder Village commercial development project.

unBound

Begin fall 2021

3,800 square foot standalone building in downtown Meridian as a lease-to-own over 2 years option.

Cherry Lane

2024

Renovation of the 27,600 square foot main library, 1,840 square foot annex building & parking lot redesign.

South Branch

2025

Build a new 10-15,000 square foot branch at The Hill community campus in South Meridian.

Levy FAQs

The library has not passed any new funding measures since 1995.  The Plant Levy Measure is for $14 million to renovate, expand and modernize.

The General Election is held on Tuesday, May 21, 2019.

  • North Branch: 15,000 sq ft branch in the Linder Village commercial development project. An estimated $1.5 million will be used for finishing the interior and providing furnishings.
  • unBound: Tech-focused branch in downtown Meridian. An estimated $1 million would fund the projected costs.
  • Cherry Lane: Estimated $3.5 million for a renovation of the 27,600 sq ft main library, 1,840 sq ft annex building & parking lot redesign.
  • The Hill Branch: Estimated $8 million to build a 15,000 sq ft new branch at The Hill community campus in South Meridian. This would be the final project in the timeline and would estimate beginning in 2025.

If 55% of the Meridian voters approve the capital funding, over a 10 year period library space will be expanded; two new branches will open, the community will have more indoor public space, and parking at the Cherry Lane location will be improved.

Without capital funding, the North and South branches will not be built, unBound will potentially remain closed, and the Cherry Lane renovation will be minimal.

If approved, this would cost taxpayers approximately $1.00 per month for every $100,000 of taxable property value for 10 years beginning 2020.

Idaho Law 33-2724 (4) states that "Moneys from the capital assets replacement and repair fund may not be used for the purchase of land or to build new library facilities or to build additions to current library facilities." (https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/title33/t33ch27/sect33-2724/)

Unlike other entities, public library districts cannot legally pay for new construction from reserves. Bonds and levies are the only legal mechanisms for expanding and building new locations.

We certainly welcome philanthropic contributions toward this project. However, relying on philanthropy to fund these projects would have its own impacts, including the following:

  • A fundraising campaign would require delaying the projects.
  • There is also a degree of uncertainty associated with fundraising; we would not be as confident in what could be accomplished as it would be contingent on our ability to raise funds from a select few people. However, funding these projects through philanthropy could indeed offset a tax impact.
  • If the library district accepts a financial gift, the statute limiting public library district’s ability to apply those monies to the construction of new facilities, purchase land, or expand current facilities applies. (This statute is IC 33-2724)

The library is in the process of creating a Foundation in order to be able to accept philanthropic gifts in the future and independently support capital needs.

 

Legally we can address renovation needs using our reserves. However, we are not legally allowed to expand our footprint and would likely only be able to conduct structural triage, fixing the building’s most critical needs. We would not likely have enough funds to address the way that the building functions or how the community uses the space.

Both in 2015 and 2016 the majority of residents voted in favor of the measure, just not the supermajority required to pass bonds. One impact of the last measure would have meant taking on public debt in order to fund new library locations. We are posing a different question to the residents this time; under this proposal, we would not incur public debt through Bonds and would only spend funds as they are collected over the course of a 10 year period.
The library has not passed an additional funding measure that raised taxes in 22 years. The last bond to pass was in 1995 that built the Cherry Lane library and has since been paid in full.

This time, a North Branch would be part of a larger project a developer is leading and working with the library to occupy. By only having to finish & furnish the interior of a new building, this reduces the cost of opening a stand-alone library branch. This allows us to reallocate those dollars to the Cherry Lane renovation and unBound facility.

We are not planning to come back to the community to ask for more operational budget support. The projects and timeline were selected by the Library Board of Trustees based on long-range operational financial projection so that no increases outside of the allowable 3% increase will be needed. These plans have been made with consideration for anticipated population growth and land use and traffic plans.

Here in Meridian, demand for our resources and programs is continually climbing.  Checkouts have increased by almost 50% in the last 5 years from 1 million in 2013 to 1.6 million in 2018 and program attendance has increased 213% from 38,500 to 121,000 during that same 5 years.

Ada Community Libraries are a separate library system. MLD created this plan with consideration of the demand we are seeing in our own branches.
Meridian taxpayers pay for Meridian Library services and through the LYNX library partnership, they are able to use neighboring library systems.

Updated May 3, 2019.