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updated: 12/23/2016 8:04 PM

How much a new library might cost Geneva taxpayers

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  • The Geneva Public Library board would like to build a new library on the site of the former Sixth Street School.

      The Geneva Public Library board would like to build a new library on the site of the former Sixth Street School.
    Susan Sarkauskas | Staff Photographer

 
 

Geneva taxpayers will decide in April if having a new library is worth the tax increase necessary to build it.

The library's board of trustees voted unanimously Thursday night to place a tax increase question on April ballots. A "yes" vote by the majority of voters would net $21.8 million.

That cash infusion would combine with $300,000 of savings to construct a library, perhaps as large as 60,000 square feet, on the site of the former Sixth Street School.

Library officials paid Kane County $1.5 million for the property plus $416,000 to raze the old school last fall.

The final design of the new library won't proceed until officials know the fate of the tax increase question. Area voters have not smiled in library referendums in recent years. St. Charles voters rejected a $35 million expansion plan in 2010.

Geneva's library is more than 100 years old. It's been expanded three times but remains largely inaccessible to disabled users. Expensive replacements are also needed for existing mechanical systems, the roof and an elevator.

"We are excited to have this opportunity to provide our community with a facility that will provide expanded library service for all ages and stages of life," library board President Robert Hiffler said in a written statement. "Our community has asked us to provide additional services and resources that we can't offer in our current facility."

A larger library would provide a computer/technology lab, maker spaces, a book publishing area, sections for cooking, crafts and play, as well as meeting/study rooms and additional parking.

The tax impact of the ballot request is about $99 a year for a home with a market value of $300,000.

The question will on appear on ballots April 4. For more information about the proposal, visit www.gpldnewbuilding.org.

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