The Spokane County Library District decided at its board meeting last week that it will not try to pass another bond to fund a new library building in Spokane Valley.
County library spokesperson Jane Baker said the library district is listening to voters – who twice rejected the bond – and is moving on.
“We are going to do the best we can with our current facilities,” Baker said. “We may make a few improvements here and there, but it will be nothing major.”
Rumors that the Spokane Valley City Council would take steps to leave the Spokane County Library District began flying in June, but Councilman Ed Pace said there’s nothing to them. “Just because one person asks a question about it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen or that’s the direction we are taking,” Pace said.
The Spokane Valley Library is part of the Spokane County Library District. After Spokane Valley incorporated in 2003, residents voted to be annexed into the Spokane County Library District.
“If, for some reason, Spokane Valley wants to leave the library district, it would have to be decided by voters,” Baker said. “Voters would have to decide to de-annex.”
The library district purchased land from the city of Spokane Valley for a potential new library building on Sprague Avenue, across the street from where the new city hall is being built.
One condition for the $839,285 purchase was that the city would buy the land back at the same price if the bond failed.
Baker said the library will make a formal request for the deal to revert as soon as possible.
“It expires in October of 2017, but it shouldn’t be a problem to let the land go back now,” Baker said.
Pace, who said he supports the library but opposed the bond because he felt it “didn’t have a strong value statement,” said the majority on the City Council still wants to see a library building near the new city hall.
“Maybe a building can be a combination of a community center and library,” Pace said, “or maybe we can do something with the school districts or the arts commission.”