Voters will see new Lake Stevens Library on Feb. 14 ballot

If voters approve two related measures on the Feb. 14 election ballot, work will start on a new Lake Stevens Library near this corner at 99th Avenue NE and Market Place.

A new Lake Stevens Library will be on the ballot in February.

“There will be two questions for voters,” said Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory, Executive Director of Sno-Isle Libraries. “First, create a Library Capital Facilities Area; second, build a new, larger library.”

Both questions will be on the ballot for the Feb 14, 2017 mail-only election. Ballots will be mailed Jan. 26. With the approval of both measures, work on a new library would start as soon as possible, Woolf-Ivory said.

The two Feb. 14 ballot measures would:

  1. Create a Library Capital Facilities Area and define the boundaries as mirroring those of the Lake Stevens School District.
  2. Approve funding to build a new library.

Voters living within the proposed Library Capital Facilities Area (LCFA) will see both measures on their ballot. Both measures must pass for a new library to move forward. By state law, an LCFA can only fund library construction and once a library is paid for, the LCFA is dissolved.

If approved, a new library would be built near the corner of 99th Avenue NE and Market Place where Sno-Isle Libraries purchased land earlier this fall. The current Lake Stevens Library is in a building owned by the City of Lake Stevens in the downtown area. The city plans to demolish some city-owned buildings in that area as part of the downtown subarea plan. Lake Stevens Mayor John Spencer has said he supports a new, larger library in the proposed location.

10-year capital facilities plan recommends replacing the current Lake Stevens Library. The plan, approved in June by the Sno-Isle Libraries Board of Trustees, says the facility is too small to meet existing and future community needs. In public comments gathered for the plan, community members said that a new larger library should offer more books and other materials, group study spaces, a children’s area, a meeting room, computers, space for programs, quiet reading areas and community gathering space.

In 2008, voters in the City of Lake Stevens approved joining the Sno-Isle Library District. Residents outside the then-city limits were already part of the library district. Funding from the 2008 vote helps cover Lake Stevens Library operating costs, but not a new facility and the current building remains owned by the city.