‘Renewed tax could fund north Boulder library . . .’

Read the report (which is only speculative at this point, like so much that passes for “news” these days) in the Daily Camera here. Excerpt copied below:

What might a tax renewal fund?

Boulder City Council members are expected to vote to place on the 2017 city ballot a renewal of the “Community, Culture and Safety” tax, which is now being renamed the “Capital Improvements Tax.” Should that renewal question reach voters, there’s a good chance that the public will be deciding on a slate of associated projects recommended by a citizen advisory committee convened by the city.

That committee suggested renewing the tax for five years, and allocating the revenue in the following way:

Relocate Boulder Fire Station No. 3 — $13 million

Renovate Scott Carpenter Pool — $6.2 million

Renovate and expand the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (nonprofit) — $6 million

North Boulder library — $6 million

Police Department/Fire Department radio infrastructure — $6 million

Fourmile Canyon Creek Greenways Improvements — $4.25 million

Facilities maintenance backlog — $3.2 million

Studio Arts Boulder (nonprofit) — $1.75 million

Meals on Wheels (nonprofit) — $1.6 million

Public Art — $1.5 million

Center for ReSource Conservation (nonprofit) — $1.4 million

KGNU (nonprofit) — $1.25 million

Community Cycles (nonprofit) — $822,500

Growing Gardens (nonprofit) — $87,000

Continuing excerpt:

The NoBo Corner Library, at 576 square feet, would be replaced by this new facility, which could be about 15 times larger.

Plans for a full-service branch have been floated in north Boulder since 1988, and have been included in every library master plan since 1995. But the 576-square-foot facility has remained, even as its annual attendance has ballooned to 45,000 — more than much larger cultural institutions such as the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Boulder.

Library and Arts Director David Farnan said he’d like to see the new library — if it is indeed funded and built — stay at Yarmouth Avenue, which is home to the current, smaller branch. But the city would investigate other sites, too.

Families in north Boulder have almost double the number of kids per household than those in other areas of the city, and almost double the rate of non-native English speakers, according to city numbers.

“If you look at a heat map of diversity in Boulder*, the epicenter is right next to that (library) site,” Farnan said. “So I think that’s a nice ingredient for both the city and the community.”

Germaine Johnson and her daughter, Vienne Tillotson, 11, shop for books at the north Boulder library on Monday in Boulder.

Germaine Johnson and her daughter, Vienne Tillotson, 11, shop for books at the north Boulder library on Monday in Boulder. (Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer)

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I nearly always support tax issues for emergency services and libraries . . . HOWEVER, it seems to me that we have too many nonprofits suckling on the taxpayers’ sugar teat in this city! Meals on Wheels does good work, and they probably deserve what is proposed, but Studio Arts Boulder, KGNU (radio station), Community Cycles, and Growing Gardens ought to make their own way if they can or cease to be. And will somebody please point out to me ANY “Public Art” here in Boulder that would make us want to spend another $1.5M? Perhaps a Marcalee Gralapp-inspired display of colorful ceramic dildoes strung up along Pearl Street Mall? NO THANKS!

*BTW, what in the blue blazes is a “heat map of diversity in Boulder”? Is this some term invented by a sociology professor seeking a grant? I want a full-size north Boulder library because it would be convenient for all of us who live in this area!

— MRW 

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