Lake Stevens Rotarians hear about library bond


Sonia Gustafson, managing librarian at the Lake Stevens Library, speaks to the Lake Stevens Rotary on Friday, Jan. 12.

Whether it is a water project in Africa or funding scholarships for high-schoolers, Lake Stevens Rotarians are all about service to others.

At their Jan. 12 breakfast meeting, members heard about another effort that, if approved by voters, is intended serve the community. Lake Stevens Library managing librarian Sonia Gustafson presented information about a bond measure on the upcoming Feb. 13 ballot that would build a new, larger library to serve the growing Lake Stevens area.

“Since I’ve been at the library, customers regularly ask, ‘Why isn’t it bigger,’” Gustafson told the group gathered at the Lake Stevens School District Educational Service Center. The current library is about 2,500 square feet, she said. A new library would be eight times larger, about 20,000 square feet, if the bond measure is approved.

Along with more space, a new library would include more books and other materials, more computers … “Really, more of everything,” Gustafson said.  And, the proposed library would have one thing the current library doesn’t have, she said, “If the ballot measure is approved, the new library would have a meeting room available to the community.”

The proposed library would be built on the corner of 99th Avenue NE and Market Place. Sno-Isle Libraries purchased land in 2016, next to property already owned by the City of Lake Stevens. Gustafson said the location prompts another common question: “Why not stay at the current spot?”

“The existing building is owned by the city and they have other plans for that area,” she said. The city’s downtown subarea plan calls for an expanded North Cove Park, including the area where the current library sits. Some other city-owned buildings at the location have already been removed.

Another question that comes up, Gustafson told the Rotarians, is, “Didn’t we already vote on this?”

A year ago, there were two items on the ballot. The first measure established the Lake Stevens Library Capital Facility Area, passing with 69 percent approval. The second measure was a bond to build the new library. While it received a 66 percent approval, the required turnout fell short by 749 voters and didn’t pass.

The Feb. 13 ballot includes only one measure, the bond that would build a new library if approved, she said. For more information, two in-person open-house events are scheduled and there is an online version. The open-house events are:

Saturday, Jan. 20
10-11:30 a.m.
Community Center
1808 Main St.

Wednesday, Jan. 24
6-7:30 p.m.
Fire District Station 82
9811 Chapel Hill Road