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A12 • NEWS • Thursday, July 7, 2011

Gunnison Country Times

Library from page A1 be in the $6 to $7 million range. If approved, that money would go to pay back a 20-year bond. The library district already has a $900,000 cash gift from the late Ray Van Tuyl earmarked for the project. The second measure will likely seek $1.3 million annually from voters to go toward the expanded library operations. Both measures will be proposed mill levy increases, impacting individual’s property taxes. Meredith explained at a public hearing held at the AspinallWilson Center on June 29 that the aim is to keep the costs as low as possible. “We’re still tweaking,” he said in a subsequent interview. Meredith has explained that they are trying to keep the financial burden to $25 a year per every $100,000 in assessed residential value. That equates to an additional $75 in property taxes for the owner of a $300,000 home, and roughly three times that much for the owner of a $300,000 commercial property or vacant land. As estimations of cost of construction and operations fluctuate, so will the $25, explained Meredith. “We are dedicated to keeping the cost as low as possible and if we have to adjust design to main-

This is a rendering of the proposed new public library in Gunnison.

tain our cost we will,” he said. Renderings of the new facilities were also unveiled at the public meeting. The projects, if approved by voters, would include a new facility in Gunnison, and a Children’s Library Annex in Crested Butte. With more than 130,000 p a t ro n s v i s i t i n g t h e A n n

Zugelder Library annually, library officials explained the importance of increased services in meeting the demands of visitors. “We are really overdone in our current facility and need to move on to something new and better,” said Sheryl Peterson, the chairwoman for the steering committee formed to guide the

Gunnison Library District in the November 2011 vote. The public library has always operated essentially as a department of Gunnison County government. However, in January 2009 the library went out on its own to create a library district. This creates more leeway in decision making and gives library board members greater

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control over library operations, Meredith explained. Library officials would like to continue receiving funding from the county, however, even in the event that a direct revenue stream is approved by voters. Meredith said the library currently receives “a little more than $700,000” from the county for annual operations.

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Library financials emerging