Lake Stevens needs a new library, board tells city council

Gathering at the Chapel Hill-area property proposed for a new Lake Stevens Library are (from left)  Managing Librarian Sonia Gustafson and members of the Lake Stevens Library Board, Kevin Stone, Abe Martinez, Debbie Ames, Janice Stepp Board Chair Shaelynn Charvet Bates and Andy Powers. The group got together Aug. 23, the day following Charvet Bates' presentation of a unanimous letter of support from the library board to the city council. 

The Lake Stevens Library Board wants a new library for the community.

“The Lake Stevens Library Board is fully supportive of a new library and the campaign needed to pass the new facility measure,” according to a letter to the Lake Stevens City Council presented by library board Chair Shaelynn Charvet Bates at the council’s Aug. 22 meeting. Lake Stevens Library Board members unanimously approved the letter at their June meeting.

“Our community is in desperate need of a facility to meet our growing needs; both in the size of a building and increased programming,” the letter says. “Quite simply, we have outgrown our current space.”

In her remarks to the council, Charvet Bates said the library is open to all and plays a vital role in building a strong community. In the letter presented to the city council, library board members said, “Please consider this letter our full endorsement of a new library facility in Lake Stevens.”

Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory thanked Charvet Bates and the rest of the city-appointed nine-member library board. “The support of the library board is important,” Woolf-Ivory said. “Board members are from the community and their voice in advising the council and the Sno-Isle Libraries Board of Trustees is a key connection.”

Woolf-Ivory said the library district is working toward putting a bond measure on the Feb. 13, 2018, ballot. If approved, the bond would pay for a new, larger Lake Stevens Library.

A year earlier, on Feb. 14, 2017, Lake Stevens-area voters took the first step toward a new library, passing one of two ballot measures needed to build a new Lake Stevens Library.

Proposition 1 created the Lake Stevens Library Capital Facility Area. It needed a simple majority (50 percent plus one) and there was no voter-turnout threshold. It passed with a 69 percent approval.

Proposition 2 was the bond measure. It got a 66 percent approval, but election turnout fell short of the required number of votes.

With the Library Capital Facility Area already approved, only a bond measure would need voter approval on a future ballot. Woolf-Ivory said the library district is working on details of a possible library ballot measure. Both the Sno-Isle Libraries Board of Trustees and the Lake Stevens City Council would need to take action this fall to put the question before voters in February, 2018.