After a unanimous vote by the city commission, a possible new city library took a step forward Tuesday.
The commission voted to move forward with a request for proposal for consulting services to move the project forward.
The public library really is the living room of the community,” said Angela Becker, a member of the library task force. “As you know, a living room needs to be welcoming … our library is not.”
A statement from Director of Public Works Suzanne Loomis saying that staff would mail the requests to firms today was met by applause from an audience who was in the room to support the effort.
“This has been a 13-year process, but this RFP is really the first step to answer three questions,” Becker said. “Where should it go, how much should it cost and how much are we going to pay for it.”
The city formed a library task force about a year ago to review the work that was done more than a decade ago. That group spent the last year doing that and is asking for the RFP.
The RFP contains a request for a consultant to begin site selection, review feasibility, create a plan for a library building, create a funding plan including a public campaign, construction drawings and finally construction.
Under the RFP, the city would pay for phase I — site selection — and phase IV, the final project. The public library has already committed to paying up to $65,000 annually for debt service for 20 years.
Consulting fees for phase I are estimated to be less than $50,000. Those funds are available in a set-aside fund for the library.
In other business the commission:
• Tabled a T21 ordinance to allow for a revised ordinance with evidence-based language.
• Approved a resolution establishing fees for pet shop permits at $75. A state pet shop license is $600. Currently, there are two feed stores and one pet shop that would fall under the city resolution.
• Reviewed the second-quarter financial report.
• Voted 3-2 for a resolution not to exceed a budget of $53.8 million, with an estimated increase of 3.08 mills and set Aug. 13 as a public hearing for the budget. The commission will have a work session to discuss the budget and possible reductions. Hague, Kreie, and Davis voted in favor. Valentine and Koehn voted against.
• Finalized the annexation of property at the Newton City/County Airport.
• Changed the commencement date for a city commissioner to the second Tuesday in December, rather than the second Tuesday in January.
• Tabled a right of way acquisition adjacent to Hillside Street.
• Tabled a purchase agreement for real estate for the construction of a potable water tank.