Port Townsend: Library “marriage” could cost city money

PORT TOWNSEND — A marriage between the Port Townsend and Jefferson County libraries could require an annual $200,000 dowry from city coffers.

The City Council met Monday in joint session with the Port Townsend Library Board to discuss annexation of the local library into the Jefferson County Library District. The county library board would have to agree to the annexation and Port Townsend voters would have to approve.

However, the county library’s property tax rate — 41.338 cents per $1,000 of assessed value — would raise approximately $300,000 inside city limit, far below the current $500,000 annual city library budget.

Several council members said they want the library to be funded at current levels, but Councilman Vern Garrison said annexation would only make sense if it meant reduced costs to provide the same level of service.

“The only reason (for annexation) was to get better service through increased productivity and shared resources,” Garrison said. “I would expect more service for the dollar. That’s the only reason to do this.”

This full report appears in today’s Jefferson County edition of the Peninsula Daily News. Click on “Subscribe” to get the PDN delivered to your home or office.

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