In 2006 the voters of Garfield County generously passed a measure to allow a 1 mill property tax to build or remodel all the libraries in the county. The library board has taken this directive seriously, and has pushed hard to get all six libraries built quickly so that each town can enjoy a wonderful new facility. In 2010 the remodel and expansion of the Parachute Branch Library was completed, and the all new Rifle Branch Library was also opened. In spring of 2012 the New Castle Branch Library reopened its doors after extensive renovations, and in the fall we opened a new Branch Library in Silt. Currently, the Glenwood Springs and Carbondale Branch Libraries are under construction with Glenwood Springs and Carbondale both slated to be finished by mid-to-late 2013.
This aggressive building schedule has allowed the library district to get the most for taxpayer dollars by capitalizing on low building costs. It has also been a boon for local economies. These building projects are some of the few construction projects currently happening in our towns. The libraries feel fortunate to have the support of the taxpayers, and believe that by hiring locally we can give back to our communities, especially in this slow economy.
The Garfield County Libraries have been as transparent as possible about our process with the “Construction” page on our website. The page has pictures and a blog so everyone in the community can see the progress. Or, you can contact the District’s Facilities Manager, Jerry Morris, at 625-4270 or email@example.com for information on projects and their status. We hope you visit our site often and see what we’ve got going on throughout the county!
-- Public Relations Emily Hisel
I get asked frequently if we are using local contractors on library construction projects. Here are the answers to a few of the questions I am fielding. We will add to this list as new questions come in.
-- Executive Director Amelia Shelley
Updated July 16, 2012
Yes, all of our projects have achieved 75% or more of the subcontractors on our jobs are from the Western Slope with over 50% from Garfield County. We expect all of our construction partners to hire local subcontractors on our projects if they have the skills and references to perform the work.
The new Carbondale Branch Library will be completed by mid-2013 and the new Glenwood Springs Branch Library will open in the fall of 2013.
The Library District received 1 mill of property tax for capital construction when we went to the voters in 2006. The property tax sunsets in 2027 and it is imperative that the District work quickly to leverage those funds to build facilities at today's dollars. The District sold Certificates of Participation in September 2009, and again in October of 2010, to finance four of the library projects; the other two will be paid for out of the District's reserves.
Community meetings to gather citizen input will be held in each community as the projects progress. When we schedule community meetings, we'll post the information in the Featured News section of our home page and on our calendar.