Sno-Isle Libraries and Target Stores Discussion

See also: Library may top Mill Creek's Target store, The Daily Herald, Everett, Wash.

Have Target and Sno-Isle Libraries discussed a joint store/library building project?

  • Representative of Target Corporation approached Sno-Isle Libraries in early 2013 to gauge Library District interest in a potential public/private partnership. Discussion between the two parties ensued to understand the nature and depth of interest.
  • Sno-Isle Libraries then met with various community stakeholder groups within the Mill Creek area and explored the issues, benefits, costs and risks to taxpayers of jointly developing a co-located new store and larger library at East Gateway Urban Village on 132nd Street SE in Mill Creek.
  • Sno-Isle Libraries has determined that forecast cost-savings make a potential partnership feasible and attractive. Initial project cost estimates of a joint project indicate potential cost savings of up $1 million to Mill Creek taxpayers compared with costs of a separate Mill Creek Library project at the East Gate Urban Village development site.

What is the current status of a joint library/store project?

  • Sno-Isle Libraries continues to hear from Mill Creek residents that limited parking and the size of the current library facility is inadequate for the area's needs.
  • The Library District and City of Mill Creek await word from Target Corporation.
  • The needs of the greater Mill Creek area are a focus of Sno-Isle Libraries in 2014.

How would a larger, turnkey library in East Gateway Urban Village be funded?

  • No funds will be available unless approved first by voters.
  • Sno-Isle Libraries are funded in a manner similar to school districts. Operations and regular maintenance are funded through general levies. Construction and major library capital projects are funded through bond measures.
  • A larger library will require voter-approval of two potential ballot measures.
  • Voter approval will be required for a Mill Creek Library Capital Facility Area (50% approval required) and a Mill Creek Library Bond (60% approval required).
  • If voters approved both ballot measures, bond funds could cover only costs associated with constructing and opening a turnkey, larger library.
  • The costs of operating all 21 community Sno-Isle Libraries, mobile libraries and online library services within the Library District are covered through an existing library operations levy paid by all property owners within the Sno-Isle Libraries District. This means that property owners and renters within the Library District of Snohomish and Island County invest in all Sno-Isle Libraries (except in Everett and Woodway).

Current Library

How well used is the Mill Creek Library?

  • Almost 300,000 visits last year, averaging of 6,100 visits per week from residents within the greater Mill Creek area and other parts of Snohomish County.
  • Third-busiest of 21 community libraries in the Library District.

Mill Creek Library size?

  • The current library is 7,370 square feet.
  • The two busier libraries are:
    • Lynnwood Library at 25,920 square feet.
    • Marysville Library is 23,700 square feet.

How large would a new Mill Creek Library be?

  • An estimated 30,000 – 40,000 square feet would meet the forecast needs of the greater Mill Creek area through 2034.
  • Several criteria are used to develop size estimates of library facilities, including changes in technology and the formats of library materials, as well as 20-year forecasts of customer and community needs.

Were there expectations for planned additions to the current library building?

  • Three building phases were initially envisioned for the Mill Creek Library.

Is there an option to expand on the current site?

  • The building was not originally designed to support a second-story addition.
  • The 1st phase construction (1987) resulted in a 3,800 square feet building.
  • The 2nd phase expansion, in 1991, added approximately 3,500 square feet and included some planned 3rd phase elements.
  • 2nd phase work exhausted other 3rd phase options to further expand the facility up or outwards on the site.

What happens to the current library building, if a larger library opens at another location?

  • If voters approved a larger library, the current library site would close when the new library opened.
  • Although Sno-Isle Libraries operates the Mill Creek Library, the current building belongs to the City of Mill Creek. Its future would be determined by city needs.

Could the current library remain open after a larger library opens?

  • Sno-Isle Libraries cannot afford to operate two libraries within the greater Mill Creek area.


When did the Library District last conduct Mill Creek community surveys?

  • January-February 2013

Why did the Library District conduct this research?

  • To determine whether the community feels about the adequacy of the current library
  • To determine what types of library services and programs are most valued
  • To gauge community response to East Gateway Urban Village library location
  • To gauge community interest in voting on the question of larger library at new location

How many persons participated in the most recent surveys?

  • 829 participants
  • 382 participants in random phone survey
  • 447 participants in online or written survey

What did the survey(s) reveal?

  • Approximately 58% of respondents indicated the current library is inadequate.
  • A majority of phone survey respondents (66%) and 69% of online/paper survey participants thought Sno-Isle Libraries should place library ballot questions before voters.
More information will be shared as it becomes available.
A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life.
- Henry Ward Beecher

Sno-Isle Libraries Administrative & Service Center, 7312 35th Ave NE, Marysville, WA 98271-7417
360-651-7000 (local) • 877-766-4753 (toll free) • 360-651-7151 (fax)

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