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Library bond committee steps aside for hospital

ARLINGTON Due to Cascade Valley Hospitals proposal to request more than $42 million from voters this spring, the community members for a new Arlington library have decided not to rerun its $8.1 million bond request this year.
In November the Sno-Isle Library System presented a bond request to build a new building on land that has been purchased by the city of Arlington at the current site of the Arlington Library. The election bid failed by a matter of about 30 votes getting 58.8 percent yes votes, just 1.2 percent less than the required 60 percent supermajority to pass a bond.
Now that Cascade Valley Hospital District has announced they will request more than $42 million this spring plans to rerun the bond are on hold.
The chair of the library bond committee, George Boulton, said the committee had decided to rerun the bond until they learned that Cascade Valley Hospital was seeking money for an expansion to the hospital including more space for the emergency rooms.
The library bond committee understands the hospitals needs and recognizes that its not likely to get approval for two bonds, Boulton said.
Boulton was invited to a meeting for the hospital bond and they discussed the challenges of running two bond requests simultaneously.
The hospital bond is projected to cost about 81 cents per $1,000 or about $240 on a $300,000 home. Add to that the library bond request of $54 on a $300,000 home and youve got $300 more per year, Boulton calculated.
Most of us would have supported both, but probably not the 60 percent of the voters we need, Boulton said.
Boulton pointed out that the two campaigns would compete in other ways as well soliciting the same people for financial help, time commitments and general support of each bond campaign.
Boulton does not know when the library bond might be presented again.
There will be a Sno-Isle trustee meeting next Monday [Jan. 29] and Karen [Hobson] and I will be going to that, Boulton said.
The Arlington Library facility is a joint project among the two-county Sno-Isle Library System, the city of Arlington and Snohomish County, as well as the community represented by the Arlington Library Board. Hobson was recently elected as the new chair of the Arlington Library Board, replacing Cheryl Boatman who remains on the board, with Karen Highum as vice chair.
Maybe well have more of a plan after next Monday, Hobson said.
But Boulton is not so optimistic.
Well have to wait and listen to the community to try and learn what they want in their local library, Boulton said.
Im thinking itll probably be a couple of years before the library bond is presented again, he said.
The administrator of the hospital is relieved, however.
We really appreciate the library stepping aside for now, Clark Jones said.
The chairman of the CVH Board of Commissioners Margo Powell also expressed her appreciation.
When the library committee decides to pursue a bond again, you can count on members of the hospital board and administration to participate as active supporters. Powell said.

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