Catching up on a few things: on Yelm, Hoquiam and Morton

1. The Yelm agreement. We recently met in a special session to approve an agreement with Yelm that will allow the city to purchase the space that Timberland Regional Library has been renting for the past ten years.

If you remember back to last spring, there was an intense debate in Yelm about the future of the library. We’d come to the end of a long and expensive lease in the current space, but last April the city and the library came to an agreement on how we’d move forward. In short, the city would buy the space in a condo agreement and TRL would put no more that $37,000 towards maintenance.

What followed was months of talk between TRL and city staff on how exactly the relationship would work on deciding the maintenance costs. At the end of the year, we saw a very complicated agreement that we all decided was just too complicated to work in the long. So, we shortened it up and now TRL will just pay Yelm $37,000 each year and we’ll enter into a more traditional city/library district relationship.

2. We approved at our last month meeting (in January) an agreement with Hoquiam to cover the costs for operating the library there this year. This agreement is necessary because Hoquiam voters approved annexing into TRL. But, there is a gap between when TRL will start collecting property tax inside Hoquiam in 2013 and when the last agreement with Hoquiam runs out (end of December 2011). So, the district will be running Hoquiam with no apparent funding source over the next 12 months.

So, we’ve worked out a deal with Hoquiam to pay back that cost over a series of year. This is similar to the agreement we signed with Shelton when they annexed a few years back.

3. Our leadership staff have been in talk about the possibility of a library in Morton. These talks are in the very early stages, but two things are apparent. The city has enough capacity in their levy rate to bring Timberland into the mix. According to our library director, Michael Crose, the Morton hospital district at worst would lose $.05 of their bonding capacity if Morton annexed into TRL.

Also, Morton seems like another community that would be a good fit for the public/school library facility we’re currently exploring with Cosmopolis and Oakville.

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