Chubbuck library bond fails

May 24, 2019

CHUBBUCK — Officials with the Portneuf Library District say they won’t give up on their goal of building a new library, following the Tuesday defeat of an $11.645 million bond request for the project.

The bond required a super-majority to pass but failed to gain a simple majority. It received 399 votes in favor and 519 votes against.

“We will push for the bond again,” said Lindsey Williams, president of the Portneuf District Library Foundation. “The community is growing and we desperately need a a new space. This library is just too small for the community it serves.”

The district proposed to build a 32,000-square-foot library with community rooms and many other amenities designed to make the building a multi-purpose public gathering place. It was planned to be located near a new city hall in a future Chubbuck downtown area. It would replace the 11,920-square foot current library, located at 5210 Stuart Ave.

The district proposed to repay the bonds over 15 years at 3.03 percent annual interest. Had it passed, the owner of a home valued at $200,000 would have paid $84.68 per year to support the new building, factoring in the home owner’s exemption.

Williams anticipates the district will eventually return with a very similar bond proposal.

“I feel like we didn’t have quite enough time to educate the masses. Just getting it out there is a step in the right direction,” Williams said. “I think the foundation, we can do a lot more outreach on our side of it as a nonprofit. The foundation is going to step it up and get out in the community more.”

Holly Jackson, director of the Portneuf District Library, believes misinformation about the real costs of the proposal and other details likely affected the vote’s outcome. She said the library will focus in the coming months on getting feedback from voters who opposed the project.

Jackson said she isn’t certain whether the library will want to have a new bond vote in November or next May.

“I think our biggest opponent was a lack of correct education and information,” Jackson said.

The library district encompasses voters within School District 25, outside of Pocatello boundaries.

Also on Tuesday, voters with the Downey-Swan Lake Highway District elected Glade H. Davis to be a new District 2 commissioner. He received 73 votes, compared with 67 votes for Kent Winward and 50 votes for Michael W. Vaughan.

In Bear Lake County, the supplemental levy bond for Bear Lake School District No. 33 of $650,000 each year for two years passed, with 582 votes in favor, or 66 percent, to 304 votes against.

The revenue bond of $410,000 for the city of Georgetown to make improvements and upgrades to its water treatment and distribution system passed, with 82 votes in favor, or 92 percent, to 7 votes against.

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