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City offers Q&A regarding library annexation

Proposition No. 1 – Annexation to King County Library System

On April 17, 2012, the voters of the City of Enumclaw will have the opportunity to decide  whether they would like to annex to the KCLS. If approved by the voters, the City of Enumclaw  would be annexed into the King County Library System. Beginning June 1, 2012, KCLS would  be solely responsible for operating and maintaining the Enumclaw Library.

April 17, 2012 Ballot Measure – Proposition 1Per King County Elections, the ballot measure will read as follows: “Should the City of Enumclaw be annexed to and be a part of the King County Rural Library  District, doing business as the King County Library System?”YesNo

Who is the King County Library System?

The King County Rural Library District (referred to as King County Library System) has provided library services to King County residents since 1942. It is separate from and not a part of King County government. Today, the cities of Enumclaw and Seattle are the only two cities not served by KCLS.Over the years KCLS has grown to become the busiest library system in the United States.  It operates 44 libraries throughout the King County. In addition to books, KCLS makes available for download eBooks, audio books, music and videos.  In 2010 it circulated over 22.4 million items making it the busiest library system in the country. Under KCLS, library hours would increase from the current 36 hours per week to 59-63 hours per week.

How is the King County Library System Funded?

KCLS is a library district and by state law is able to access and collect a property tax levy from property tax owners within its district.  KCLS is able to levy a maximum of fifty (50) cents per $1,000 assessed value of a property. The property tax collected pays for the operation of the library system.

How Much Would it Cost?

To figure out how much the library property tax would cost you, take the value of your home and divide that value by 1,000; then multiple by .50.  Example - a home valued at $250,000; divide 250,000 by 1,000 = 250; then multiply 250 x .50= $125.  Thus a homeowner would pay to KCLS each year $125 beginning in 2013. Enumclaw LibraryThe City of Enumclaw has for many years operated and funded its own municipal library.  The Enumclaw Library provides library services to all city residents and has a budget of $350,000.  The library is open a total of 36 hours per week this year.The Enumclaw Library currently has:• A collection of 62,000 books and other materials• Summer reading program• 14 public internet computers• Reciprocal borrowing agreement with King CountyEnumclaw Library FundingFunding for the Enumclaw Library comes from the City’s General Fund which also funds many other city functions such as police, streets, parks, finance, etc.  The library does not have its own dedicated funding source.  Due to the prolonged recession, the amount of funding devoted to the Library has been reduced each of the past several years while the City has had to focus on funding basic services.  In 2009, the library budget was $631,000; now in 2012 it is $350,000. The reduction in funding has lead to a reduction in library hours, and has made it difficult to purchase new books and other items.

What Happens if the Annexation Election passes?

If the annexation ballot measure passes, KCLS will take over operation of the library on June 1, 2012.  Enumclaw library card holders will beable to get a KCLS library card as well as any other city resident interested in obtaining a KCLS library card. City property tax payers would begin paying the KCLS levy in 2013.

What happens if Annexation Election fails?

The Enumclaw library is operating off of a one-time funding allocation in 2012.  No funds have been indentified for its operation past 2012.  If the Enumclaw Library is closed can I get or use my KCLS card?If the Enumclaw library is closed in 2013, city residents will not be able to obtain a KCLS library card and any city resident with a KCLS library card will no longer be able to use it at any of the KCLS branch libraries.  Closure of the Enumclaw library effectively terminates the current reciprocal borrowing agreement between the City and KCLS.  By policy, KCLS does not sell library cards to those outside of its district boundary.

NoticeThis FAQ is provided by the City of Enumclaw to present basic facts about the Library Annexation vote. It neither supports nor opposes the Library Annexation ballot measure.For more information about King County Library System, please visit their website http://www.kcls.org/

 

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