Rent on's Renton's
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Renton’s Proposition 1 Renton voters will be asked at the February 9, 2010, election whether or not to annex to the King County Li- brary System (KCLS). The Renton City Council and Renton Library Board both endorsed giving Renton voters the chance to decide for themselves whether to join KCLS. This brochure is provided by the City of Renton to present factual information about Proposition 1 for the February 9, 2010 election and the eﬀect it will have on Renton libraries. This brochure neither supports nor op- poses Proposition 1. Renton’s Potential Annexation to the King County Library System February 9, 2010 For information, visit http:// library.rentonwa.gov. Current Situation Remaining independent and fully funding the im- provements recommended in Renton’s Library Master • The Main library would add three open hours per week, and the Highlands branch would add 17 addi- Plan, including rebuilding one library branch and making tional hours, including hours on Friday. Currently, the City of Renton runs two Renton Public program and system improvements, would cost approxi- • Renton would continue to appoint a local Library Board Libraries: the main location in downtown Renton, and the mately $260 per year for a $400,000 home (slightly higher to advise on issues related to Renton, and to serve as branch in the Renton Highlands. Renton and Enumclaw for recently annexed areas). If the reciprocal agreement a link between Renton citizens, the city and KCLS. With are the only two cities in King County not part of the King with KCLS continued, Renton would also continue to pay annexation, Renton residents would be eligible for ap- County Library System (KCLS). KCLS is a local government KCLS that annual fee for residents to use KCLS libraries. pointment to the KCLS Board of Trustees, and encour- entity separate from King County with the sole purpose Currently the city has no plans to make these improve- aged to join any of the Friends of the Library groups of providing library services to area residents. ments due to budget constraints. that provide guidance and support to KCLS. With or without annexation, strategic investments Renton library services are provided by a staﬀ of 38 are necessary in order to maintain and improve Renton and the 2009 budget was $1.8 million. The two Renton library services in the future. The current funding model Eﬀect of Proposition 1 libraries currently have: and the City’s economic challenges prevent needed up- grades and enhancements to library services and facili- If Not Approved • A collection of 190,000 books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, ties. Doing nothing to change the funding model will re- videos and audiobooks; sult in future library service cuts that could range from If annexation is rejected Renton libraries will remain • Programs for all ages; reduced branch and staﬀ hours to closing facilities. a function of the City of Renton. In keeping with 2010 • Summer reading programs; city-wide budget reductions, the City of Renton would • Twenty public internet computers; implement reduced branch hours, reduced budget to • Sixty hours of service per week at the Main library, Eﬀect of Proposition 1 If Approved purchase library materials, and the layoﬀ of temporary and 42 hours of service at the Highlands branch. staﬀ. The City’s cost for Renton residents to use KCLS • A reciprocal borrowing agreement that allows Renton If Renton voters approve annexation to the King libraries would likely increase which would require ad- residents to use KCLS libraries, which costs $278,000 County Library System KCLS would take over operations ditional staﬀ reductions and restricted borrowing of ma- per year. of the Renton libraries in March 2010. terials. A recent survey shows that Renton residents care • KCLS is the third-busiest public library system in the about their library services and use them regularly. United States with a collection of four million items Homeowner Cost of Proposition 1 Renton’s population has grown and diversiﬁed since the and 375,000 new items added each year. 1960s when the main branch opened downtown. The • Services are provided by approximately 1,200 KCLS Today, City of Renton residents pay taxes and fees role of libraries also has changed, from simply oﬀering employees with an operating budget of more than $90 deposited in the city’s general operating budget which books to supplementing public education, supporting ca- million. funds library services along with all other city services. reer development, providing access to technology, and • KCLS serves a wide range of communities through 44 The current City of Renton library system costs $1.8 mil- connecting members of the community. community libraries throughout King County with full lion annually. For comparison purposes, if residents paid There is a recognized need for library improvements use of Seattle Public Libraries, and other neighboring for library services only with property taxes, current li- in Renton. Comparison data of library use; operating rev- library districts through a reciprocal borrowing agree- brary services cost roughly $104 per year for a $400,000 enue and expenditures; staﬃng levels; print collections; ment. home. In addition, the City of Renton pays KCLS an an- electronic materials; and number of programs shows • KCLS would provide access to the full KCLS collection nual fee for Renton residents to be able to use KCLS li- large gaps between Renton’s existing library service and online resources, and downloadable collection of braries, called a reciprocal agreement. levels and those of similar libraries in Washington and ebooks, audio books, videos and music. Annexation to KCLS, including property taxes paid around the nation. • The current Renton collection would be incorporated to the library system, and with Renton rebuilding two The City of Renton cannot aﬀord to continue into the KCLS collection and would remain in Renton li- library branches, would cost a resident approximately the quality of library services and programs that its braries, available for borrowing throughout the system. $236 per year for a $400,000 home. diverse residents want and need without additional • All Renton staﬀ will have the option to become em- State law sets KCLS’ maximum property tax levy for funding. ployees of KCLS. library services and operations at $0.50 per $1,000 of As- A 2006 Master Planning process found that “Renton • Current Renton libraries would be improved with new sessed Valuation (AV). The current KCLS property tax levy lags far behind in the resources available to provide lighting, furniture, technology and signage. Eventually rate for 2009 is $0.42 per $1,000 of AV. KCLS will have a responsive, high-quality library services needed by its Renton and KCLS would develop and construct replace- levy lid lift measure on the February 9, 2010, ballot that, growing and diverse citizenry.” The planning process ment facilities for both the Main library downtown if passed by voters, would increase its annual levy rate to identiﬁed actions needed to sustain and modernize the and the Highlands branch, to be funded by Renton res- $.50 per 1,000 AV. If Renton residents approve annexa- library system, recommending an investment of $27 mil- idents. The downtown library branch building would tion to KCLS, they would not be assessed the KCLS levy lion to cover the estimated cost of critical building up- remain in City ownership. rate until 2011. grades, program and collection improvements.