Felton Library bond measure could head to voters in 2014
by Joe Shreve
Nov 07, 2013 | 1008 views | 6 6 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Joe Shreve/Press-Banner
Joe Shreve/Press-Banner
slideshow
Architect Teall Messer shows plans for the Felton Library to resident Anita Lande at a community meeting on Tuesdya, Nov. 5. Joe Shreve/Press-Banner
Architect Teall Messer shows plans for the Felton Library to resident Anita Lande at a community meeting on Tuesdya, Nov. 5. Joe Shreve/Press-Banner
slideshow
In as little as a year’s time, Santa Cruz County residents may find themselves voting on a bond measure proposal that, if approved, could mean real results for the long-awaited and much-delayed plan to build a new facility for the Felton Library.

At a Tuesday, Nov. 5 meeting with Felton community members and supporters of the project, 5th District Supervisor Bruce McPherson — who serves on the Santa Cruz Public Library Joint Powers Board — said that increased stability in the funding for the library system and the overall improvement of the economy, has created conditions favorable to getting the project underway.

“We’re coming to another point where we’re going to try and put things together,” he said. “It’s our turn, and it’s about time.”

McPherson said that over the next several months, several bond measure proposals for library improvements countywide were likely to come before the Joint Powers Board and could be on the ballot as soon as the November 2014 election.

Board member Nancy Gerdt said that any bond measure proposal would prioritize Felton’s need for a new facility, given the centrally located site on Gushee Street, and the cramped quarters of the existing library in the Faye G. Belardi Memorial building about ½ mile away at the corner of Gushee and Felton Empire Road.

“We’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” she said.

The Belardi building was built 1893 as a Presbyterian church, and renovated in 1956 when it was donated to the library system by the Belardi family.

McPherson cautioned that, before any bond measure could realistically be put to a vote, the contract of the Joint Powers Board — which consists of representatives from Santa Cruz County, along with the cities of Santa Cruz, Capitola, and Scotts Valley — would need to be extended.

 

‘This site, it couldn’t be more ideal’

 

The acre of land adjacent to the Scotts Valley Post Office was donated by Mike Verutti for the library site, but has sat in limbo for more than a decade as funding for a new facility never materialized.

Plans for a modern, 9,000-square-foot facility have been ready to go since 2009, said Architect Teall Messer.

“We’ve just been waiting for someone to come up with a few million dollars,” he said.

Messer said that the building would be designed to maximize green technology such as radiant heating, large rooftop windows, and solar power arrays in order to minimize the operating cost.

According to Gerdt, construction of the plans as drawn would cost approximately $8.5 million.

“This site, it couldn’t be more ideal,” she said, citing its accessibility, proximity to schools, and central location at what she described as “the gateway to the San Lorenzo Valley.”

“(Gushee Street) is one of the few streets in Felton that has a sidewalk.”

Paul Machlis of Felton Library Friends said the planned new building would provide more than seven times the space that the 1,250 square feet the existing building offers — meaning more space for books, activities, and studying.

“(The existing facility) has not been adequate for a long time,” he said.

For more information about the Joint Powers Board, visit www.santacruzpl.org, and for more information about the Felton Library Friends, visit www.feltonlibraryfriends.org/

- To comment, email reporter Joe Shreve at joe@pressbanner.com, call 438-2500 or post a comment at www.pressbanner.com.

Comments
(6)
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Felton Resident
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November 08, 2013
Here’s a thought for the dysfunctional left: Perhaps we could start a library fund, and once the $8.5-million is raised (plus guaranteed overruns), we then build this library. What is wrong with leaving our grandchildren with something other than debt for something they might not even be interested in???
Dan F.
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November 08, 2013
Didn't we just fight off a 9 million dollar Water Department Building for being excessive? Now we have a 9 million dollar library for a city of 4,000 people. Again, this is excessive. I won't vote for it and I'm a democrat.
Anonamous
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November 08, 2013
"Didn't we just fight off a 9 million dollar Water Department Building for being excessive?"

Ummm, no? What gave you that idea?
Jim Danner
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November 08, 2013
Um, yes! But actually the price tag for the Water Department Building (campus) was $12.9 million.

Unfortunately, we didn't fight it off....the can was just kicked down the road.
Samantha Tywin
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November 07, 2013
Cool! With 2 conditions:

1. Felton FLOW organizers take on the responsibility of the demented bond measure for which we are paying $595/year for the gift of our water system to the dubious San Lorenzo Valley Water District.

2. There is no liquor warehouse configured as part of the library facility. Yep, you know what I'm talking about.
Jim Danner
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November 08, 2013
Bingo!


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