FRIENDS Update – PH Library Task Force – January 01, 2016

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The full Library Task Force (LTF) met on November 9th and again on December 14th.

The County Staff’s representative made a short report on the status of the land disposition process at the first meeting. A few days later the Supervisor’s office advised that the contract with Planning Consultant Dahlin Group had been executed; they will not start any significant work until 2016. At both meetings we noted that the County has yet to provide a Master Schedule for their planned rezoning work in advance of the sale of the three parcels (including the current Library site). The Master Schedule is now promised to be delivered during the first quarter of 2016.

The PH Recreation and Park District continues to pursue acquisition of the old Oak Park School site. These two parties have 90 days to negotiate in good faith over this proposed sale. The PHR&PD has presented an independent appraisal to the County Staff and the parties agreed to an extension to January 7th for further negotiations. The PHR&PD representatives indicated that they intend to develop much-needed additional playing fields on this property. This action may make one of the two preferred sites unavailable for the construction of a new Library building. (Alternatively, the site for our building could become a part of the negotiations).

The Needs / Site subcommittee reported on their November 4th and December 8th meetings. They are focused on a new building of 20 to 25,000 SF gross area. The “bubble diagrams” being used at this point do NOT include any spaces dedicated for the Historical Society, the Genealogy Group, any other “outside” users, or the Special County Collections housed at the present PH Library. The Friends have requested about 2000 sf for their store, workroom & storage to support their fundraising efforts.

It was decided that the number of parking spaces to serve our new building should be no less that the 140 spaces that we have at the existing site; some of these may have to be “shared” spaces with the Pleasant Oaks Park, PH Middle School and/or the new developments of the subject properties.

The Funding subcommittee reported that a proposed ½% new City sales tax could provide new revenue of $4 million per year, which would likely be divided between several uses, including the cost of our new building & its operating costs.

The Outreach subcommittee submitted a Friend’s Outreach Plan 2015 prepared by the Friends. Patrick reported that the Friends website had been significantly upgraded to give it a more robust look.

There also was a discussion about doing a survey to determine what the City Residents would support. After some back and forth, it decided by a vote that this should be done sooner rather than later in the process.

It was agreed to add a representative from the PH Chamber of Commerce to the Library Task Force.

We again raised the question of hiring a qualified Library Consultant to provide professional input as needed to guide our decisions at this important point in the process. The City previously indicated that they may have money available to fund this work at the appropriate time.
The next meeting of the full Library Task Force is scheduled for Tuesday, January 19th.

Submitted by:
Jack Prosek
PH Library Fund Representative
PH Library Task Force