Six months ago this week, the Yelm Timberland Library Advisory Board made their annual presentation to the Mayor & City Council saying the Library’s 10 year lease is up in the current location in 2012 and the 10 year exemption granted by Timberland Regional library (TRL) to operate Yelm’s Library in a non-public building expires then, too.
Further stated, “TRL would be hard pressed to grant Yelm another exemption to operate a library in a private facility, as the other 18 jurisdictions in the TRL five-county region are all required to be in public facilities. Some of these cities have expressed their concerns about the favoritism granted Yelm on this issue.”
I wrote to TRL Manager of Administrative Services Michael Crose for an update, since there has been nothing announced to the public about Yelm’s Library status after 2012. Here is his response approved for Yelm Community Blog readers:
“Good Morning Steve. I met with representatives from the City and Prairie Park Development [owners of the current library building] last month. We are considering several options including remaining in the current location for a couple more years. It was agreed that since the City and Timberland are in the middle of one of the most difficult budget cycles in recent memory we would postpone our next meeting until February. Although you may not recognize it, the Yelm library issue is second only to the issue of the District’s [almost $2 million] …million deficit in order of importance.”
Covered here on July 1st was this NVN story:
“The Timberland Regional Library Board of Trustees may go to the voters seeking a levy lid lift.
Its either that or face cutting services, according to Timberland officials.”
And this story in The Olympian:
“Timberland Regional Library, which operates libraries in five southwest Washington counties, is in a tough financial spot a $1.9 million budget shortfall by year’s end.
The library system, which includes libraries in Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and Yelm, has two equally unappealing choices: raise taxes or cut staff, reduce hours of operations and scale back the book-buying budget.
The ensuing debate will be a referendum on the value people place in library services.”
[Ed. Note: So the deficit will give TRL an out with other TRL Libraries for Yelm’s Library to remain in a non-public facility for awhile longer. However, at some point TRL & Yelm are going to have to grapple with the situation of a more permanent future for a Yelm facility. When the agreement was penned in 2001 for the Library to move to Prairie Park for 10 years, work should have started then on the library’s future facility. TRL’s approved statement in the Library Board presentation last March said that a facility was Yelm’s responsibility. Little to nothing was done since 2001 on a permanent facility, hence the current situation we library property tax payers find ourselves.]
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR PROPERTY TAXES BEING USED TO PAY RENT FOR A LIBRARY IN A PRIVATE COMPANY’S BUILDING AND NOT A PUBLIC STRUCTURE?