Today's Post-Crescent published an extensive interview with the Mayor: "Q&A: Mayor Tim Hanna talks about future for Appleton Public Library", including such topics as:
- including the site selection money in the budget
- whether the site selection money means a project is any more likely to happen
- if the city eventually is going to need a bigger library or a new library
- if he has an idea of what the public-private funding split would be
- figuring out a cost estimate
- which has to come first, the public funding or the private funding
- whether the library should remain downtown
- if the decision could eventually go to a referendum
In fact, in an economy like this, now's the time to do the planning.Some of the main opposing arguments seem to be:
It's not the capital costs. It's the operating costs. You can plan for the capital costs.
We've got state levy limits. We've got local levy limits. We've got fund balance requirements. We have built a long list of requirements. So should it go to referendum as long as we stay within the framework that we built and we're not busting the bank and we're not asking to raise taxes significantly?
- libraries are no longer relevant
- this will require a significant tax increase
- the priority is to save construction dollars, whether by remodeling or setting up branches
It might be that remodeling would be a better option -- the jury is out. But we absolutely need to keep operating costs in mind, and design not only an attractive facility but one that creates maximum efficiency and lowest possible operating costs for growing service demands. Neither can we just move into [insert vacant building name here], because it's not about space, it's about library service.