Property tax hike off the table for Logan Library project

City officials here say that current plans for the construction of a new Logan Library do not include a citywide property tax hike.

LOGAN – Current plans for construction of a new Logan Library do not include a citywide property tax increase.

“The funding for the new Logan Library is already in place,” according to library director Karen Clark.

“At one time, we thought that we may have to do a property tax increase,” Clark said following the unveiling of final design plans for the new facility at the regular meeting of the Logan City Council on Sept. 7. “Since that time, however, we have found enough funds in reserve accounts to cover the (project) expenses.”

The plan discussed at the city council meeting calls for construction of a three-story library structure oriented primarily along Main Street, stretching south from the corner of 300 North Street.

Mayor Holly Daines has previously explained that construction of the new structure on the site of the current library will contribute to ongoing downtown revitalization efforts and save an estimated $1 million in property acquisition costs.

“The original plan was to increase the library levy to allow for a $4 million interfund loan (to the construction project),” city director of finance Richard Anderson explained. That loan was to be in addition to a previous $4 million interfund loan and other capital funds already allocated to the library project.

In previous discussions with the city council, Anderson estimated that the increase in the library levy would be $16.94 per year on the average home in Logan with a property value of $281,100.

“But, after the budget process this past May and June … we announced that we had changed our library funding plan,” Anderson added. “I felt that we could take an additional $1 million from the library reserves generated over the past more than two years and reprioritize the timing of general capital projects to allocate an additional $3 million of capital funds, thus avoiding a library property tax increase.”

One of the projects that will be delayed is repairs to the City Service Center at 950 West, 600 North. But Anderson said that local officials are now pursuing a federal grant that may pay for a significant portion of that project.

“That grant process takes a very long time,” he explained. “So – between the potential delay and pursuing the grant – we felt like avoiding a library tax increase was not only possible but might ultimately be optimal.”

Construction of the new library is expected to begin in March of 2022, with the new facility expected to open in the spring or summer of 2023.

The recently reveled design plans call for a bustling, park-like atmosphere on the structure’s ground floor, an active tone for teens and adults on the second floor and a quiet reserve on the top floor.

“While we certainly reserve the right to change course (on a tax increase) if it becomes necessary,” Anderson emphasized, “if we can keep the library project within the budget we have established, we should be able to accomplish all the capital projects we currently have planned for the next few years.”

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