(KCPW News) Salt Lake City Council members were leaning toward a property tax increase for the construction of the Marmalade library branch during a work session Tuesday. The council has already approved funding for a new Glendale branch. The plan would cost $5.50 per year on a $260,000 home. Some council members had concerns about raising taxes, but Councilman Soren Simonsen said construction costs will only go up, so he’s inclined to get both projects rolling.
“Recognizing J.T.’s comments to not hit people with property taxes at this time, I think we also have to weigh the flip side, which is if we wait, we potentially see the project increase by anywhere from 10 to 20 percent,” said Simonsen.
Library Director Beth Elder says the council is standing behind its commitment to funding the libraries.
“For the council it places the funding closest to the need,” says Elder. “We expect the construction to be happening for the Marmalade library beginning in 2011-12. So this will mean that we are ready to issue the bonds for that construction in time for the library to be built.”
Elder says the libraries will be central meeting places for residents in both communities, not just providing access to information, but also becoming catalysts for economic development. The Glendale branch is expected to open in early 2013, while Marmalade is slated for early 2014. The projected cost of the Marmalade branch is roughly $8.9 million, while Glendale is $8.2 million.