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Voters will see new Lake Stevens Library on Feb. 14 ballot

Originally published Dec. 7, 2016

If voters approve two related measures on the Feb. 14 election ballot, work will start on a new Lake Stevens Library near this corner at 99th Avenue NE and Market Place.

A new Lake Stevens Library will be on the ballot in February.

“There will be two questions for voters,” said Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory, Executive Director of Sno-Isle Libraries. “First, create a Library Capital Facilities Area; second, build a new, larger library.”

Both questions will be on the ballot for the Feb 14, 2017 mail-only election. Ballots will be mailed Jan. 26. With the approval of both measures, work on a new library would start as soon as possible, Woolf-Ivory said.

The two Feb. 14 ballot measures would:

  1. Create a Library Capital Facilities Area and define the boundaries as mirroring those of the Lake Stevens School District.
  2. Approve funding to build a new library.

Voters living within the proposed Library Capital Facilities Area (LCFA) will see both measures on their ballot. Both measures must pass for a new library to move forward. By state law, an LCFA can only fund library construction and once a library is paid for, the LCFA is dissolved.

If approved, a new library would be built near the corner of 99th Avenue NE and Market Place where Sno-Isle Libraries purchased land earlier this fall. The current Lake Stevens Library is in a building owned by the City of Lake Stevens in the downtown area. The city plans to demolish some city-owned buildings in that area as part of the downtown subarea plan. Lake Stevens Mayor John Spencer has said he supports a new, larger library in the proposed location.

10-year capital facilities plan recommends replacing the current Lake Stevens Library. The plan, approved in June by the Sno-Isle Libraries Board of Trustees, says the facility is too small to meet existing and future community needs. In public comments gathered for the plan, community members said that a new larger library should offer more books and other materials, group study spaces, a children’s area, a meeting room, computers, space for programs, quiet reading areas and community gathering space.

In 2008, voters in the City of Lake Stevens approved joining the Sno-Isle Library District. Residents outside the then-city limits were already part of the library district. Funding from the 2008 vote helps cover Lake Stevens Library operating costs, but not a new facility and the current building remains owned by the city.

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