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Library Task Force Recommendation Heads To Board

Karen Snyder, K2 Radio

A recommendation to bring a new library initiative to the ballot in November will come before the Natrona County Library Foundation Board next week.  The 30-member citizen-led task force concluded deliberations Wednesday agreeing to recommend a 83,000 sq ft facility, located on a library owned site in the Old Yellowstone District, at a cost of 29.7 million-including $4.5 million in start-up operations and maintenance – to be paid for with a 1-cent specific purpose tax.

It will be up to the voting public to decide if they support the tax needed to pay for it, and before that, the county commission and at least four Natrona County municipalities must agree to have it on the ballot.

John Lawson was task force chair.  ” I’ve been a public servant just about all of my life and this process that I just participated in has been one of the best public processes that I’ve ever had the privilege to be part of.”

Task force members agreed early on to three points;  They want a new library,  it should be located in the Old Yellowstone District, and it’s sized scaled back from the 2008 proposal.

They differed with the board on funding, backing a 1-cent special purpose tax that avoids nearly 10 million in interest and, according to estimates, could have the project paid for by the time the doors open.

Lawson says the group will now set about organizing its campaign including a political action committee that will, ” do a process of education, getting information out, so when voters go to the polls they really do understand the financing of it.”

The group now  see their jobs as one of educating the public on the differences between a 1-cent tax vs a bond issue.

The group will spend about $55,000 on its public information campaign.

You can find background information on the task force decision here.




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