Thursday, December 6, 2012
Following the Walla Walla City Council's vote to sell non-resident library cards, the Union-Bulletin has again appealed to the Rural Library District to reconsider building a second facility in the urban area of Walla Walla and to work with the city to develop a system that will build on the strengths of the city Public Library to provide service to all residents of the area.
This is not the U-B's first request of this nature, the Walla Walla County commissioners have made a similar request, the Walla Walla City Council has made an appeal for cooperation, the Library Users' Coalition has requested consideration of an annexation proposal, and there have been many citizen appeals to the RLD Board of Trustees in person and in writing to reconsider.
Despite these requests, the RLD has proceeded with its plans.
It is not too late for the RLD to take a step back from its plan to build a second urban library "in the College Place area" (per its public meeting notice published in the U-B on Nov. 25, 26 and 27). Doing this would not interfere with the proposed renovations, expansions and new construction on the branches in Burbank, Prescott and Touchet.
According to its recently adopted budget, the Rural Library District has $3.6 million in its capital reserve fund. Projected expenditures for the rural area branches are currently estimated at $2.3 million. Using funds from the capital reserve would leave $1.3 million in the capital reserve fund for future needs and would not require incurring indebtedness.
The next meeting of the RLD Board of Trustees is to be held in the Touchet High School commons, located at 90 Champion St., at 5 p.m. on Monday. This will be followed at 6:30 by the only public meeting that has been held "for the purpose of taking public comment on the district's proposal to borrow $2.3 million in federal funds" to be used for the building projects in the district.
This is in addition to the $3.6 million capital reserve. It should be noted that the facilities in Touchet and Prescott are replacements for existing buildings that are much needed to improve service to those communities, as is the expansion/renovation of Burbank.
Please add your voice to that of the Union-Bulletin's in requesting reconsideration of a second library in the Walla Walla urban area by the Rural Library District.