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Vote Yes to approve Cornelius library project

As mayor of Cornelius, I urge citizens to support the Cornelius Library measure that will be on the November 2013 ballot. Measure 34-205 authorizes up to $2.4 million in general obligation bonds to fund half of the cost of a new library in the Cornelius Place project. The other $2.4 million will be funded with grants, money from foundations and donations raised by Friends of the Cornelius Library.

In addition to a new library, the project includes a partnership with Bienestar, Inc., a private non-profit developer of affordable housing. Bienestar will contribute $8 million to the project to construct 41 units of affordable senior housing on the two floors above the library. City taxpayers will not pay anything to have the housing added to the library — it will be paid for by other funding sources.

The current library was built in 1983 when the population of Cornelius was less than a third of what it is today. We have one of the fastest growing libraries in the county, and we have only enough space for 20,000 books, videos and periodicals. The new library will hold 50,000 items, the minimum recommended by the Oregon Library Association for our size of population. It’s amazing to learn that people borrowed over 77,000 books from our library last year.

We are currently lacking space for students to study and do their homework. The new library will have a teen area for students to work together, and quiet study rooms for individuals or tutoring. The new library will provide an expanded safe haven for many youth who have nowhere else to go after school.

Library use has changed with technology, but people continue to use the library in record numbers (circulations and door counts have grown each year). People access computers, study and gather with friends. The Cornelius Library is the only library of the 12 in the Washington County Cooperative (WCCLS) since 2000 that has not remodeled or built new facilities. We have long ago outgrown our current library.

This project will be built on vacant land the city already owns (in front of City Hall facing Adair Street) and leverage the community’s $2.4 million for a $12.8 million building in the heart of downtown Cornelius.

Please support passage of this measure and the building of a new Cornelius city library!

Jef Dalin is mayor of the city of Cornelius.



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