Clallam commissioners to mull taxing district to fund Sequim Library expansion

PORT ANGELES — Clallam commissioners will consider adopting a pair of resolutions that would ask voters to create a taxing district to fund the $13.3 million expansion of the North Olympic Library System’s Sequim branch.

After hearing a presentation from the North Olympic Library System’s director, Margaret Jakubcin, Clallam County Commissioner Mark Ozias asked for the board of commissioners to consider the resolutions during its upcoming July 3 meeting.

If the two resolutions are approved, the county will place two propositions on the November ballot.

The first is for the creation of a Library Capital Facilities Area, which would share boundaries similar to those of the Sequim School District in Clallam County.

The second would ask voters in that district to approve up to $12.4 million in general obligation bonds to support construction of a new, larger Sequim Branch Library and to allow the district to levy taxes to pay back the bonds.

On average, it would cost a homeowner with an assessed home value of $300,000 about $5.81 more per month and $69.74 a year over 20 years, library staff have said.

Cost of project

The estimated cost of the project is about $13.3 million, she said. NOLS plans to use $1 million of its reserves to help fund the project.

It’s been known for about 20 years that there is a need for a larger library, Jakubcin told the commissioners. The new building would be 17,000 square feet, nearly three times the size of the current library.

The most recent push to expand the library began more than a year ago when library officials and design firm SHKS Architects began making presentations with community groups to gauge design preferences and answer questions about expansion options following a feasibility study.

Jakubcin told commissioners that the costs associated with constructing a new building versus retrofitting the existing building were so similar that it made more sense just to start from scratch.

The North Olympic Library System oversees public libraries in Sequim, Port Angeles, Forks and Clallam Bay.

For more information, visit www.nols.org or contact Jakubcin at 360-417-8500, ext. 7714, or [email protected].

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].

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