Ann Arbor District Library Board to hold special meeting to approve title for $65M bond proposal
The board already voted in July to go forward with a proposal asking voters to approve $65 million to build a new downtown library on the site of the current library at Fifth Avenue and William Street.
The full board unanimously voted to accept the recommendation of its facilities committee, which had been charged with examining the issue. But due to an oversight, it didn't approve a title for the proposal.
Monday's meeting takes place at 10:30 a.m. on the fourth floor of the downtown library. The exact title the board will be voting on reads: "Ann Arbor District Library Downtown Building Proposal."
Ryan J. Stanton | AnnArbor.com
Shall the Ann Arbor District Library, formed by the Ann Arbor Public Schools and the City of Ann Arbor, County of Washtenaw, State of Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed sixty-five million dollars ($65,000,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds, in one or more series, payable in not to exceed thirty (30) years from the date of issuance of such bonds, for the purpose of paying all or part of the costs of constructing, furnishing and equipping a new main library building to be located at the current site of the downtown library building, including costs related thereto?
The following information also is posted on the county's website:
The estimated millage to be levied in 2013 to pay the debt service on such bonds is 0.56 mills ($0.56 per $1,000 of taxable value) and the estimated simple average annual millage rate required to retire the bonds is 0.47 mills ($0.47 per $1,000 of taxable value). In accordance with State law, a portion of the revenue collected may be subject to capture by the City of Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority and the Scio Township Downtown Development Authority.
The library facilities committee's report reviewed the shortcomings of the current building, first constructed in 1958 and updated twice — most recently in 1990. It found the facility has inadequate capabilities for meeting patron needs for safe, quiet reading space and has outdated heating and air conditioning systems.
It also found the facility lacks sufficient meeting space for community events and large presentations, needs capacity for additional infrastructure to meet growing computer use, does not have space for children’s programming and services that reflect the needs of contemporary families and students, and does not have an auditorium. After reviewing renovation possibilities, the committee determined that a new facility built on the site of the existing building was the most cost-effective solution.
"Our 1958 downtown library building has done its job, seeing us into the 21st century," Board Chairwoman Margaret Leary said last month. "We are envisioning today a library that will serve us for another 60 years, providing flexibility to address changing knowledge delivery tools and the need for meeting facilities to ensure all residents of the community have access to information that will power our economy into the future."
According to AADL statistics, downtown library use remains high, with an average of more than 600,000 yearly visits over the past five years, while the average yearly number of library-sponsored events at the downtown library over the past four years was 441.
Library Director Josie Parker said last month that if the proposal is approved, it will provide sufficient revenue to move key portions of the current library resources to a downtown location, provide access to the balance of the collection online through requests, build the new facility, and move into the new building.
"The current building has brought us together and delivered library services to us for 54 years," she said in a statement. "The building’s infrastructure limitations and form are constraining the delivery of what this community expects from its library. This new century with unexpected and unimagined changes, and more to come, provides us the opportunity to give forward with a new downtown library."
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's email newsletters.