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While there are two facilities in Kennewick in fairly close proximity, it should be pointed out that there are 73,900 residents in the city limits and over 153,000 in the urban area that are served by those libraries, quite a difference to Walla Walla's 31,000/42,000 population. Does Walla Walla need more options? Whatever happened to Phase 2 of the Master Plan? That might not be quite such a financial jump as to Phase 3. I guess another thing that should be pointed out is that that building project would be VOTED on by the citizens. The current building plan of the Rural Library District is NOT being voted on and it will be taxpayer dollars being spent - both from the Capital Outlay Fund and to repay the 2.3 million dollar loan that will be needed to fund the entire project.
It is a sad fact that the COMMUNITY of Walla Walla is not being considered. At a time when unavoidable financial shortfalls have made it more and more difficult for the City of Walla Walla to fully fund, not only the library, but other city services, that a solution that would strengthen the public library will not even be allowed to come to a vote because the Rural Library District Board of Trustees will not discuss annexation. A library which has served both city and county residents for nearly 40 years will soon be unavailable to county residents unless they purchase a card IN ADDITION to the taxes which they already pay for library service.
Why would not consolidating the two library systems and strengthening the existing primary library over the next two to three years and THEN considering another facility be a more practical approach to the issue of library services?
There has to be a way that city and county library service can be seamless. A strong central library in the urban area, smaller branches in outlying areas, with book mobile service for isolated areas and shut ins could provide for all. Combining technical and administrative services in one location could reduce duplication and be more cost effective than operating two separate systems. Let's explore the options and find a solution.
Last login: Thursday, April 10, 2014
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