---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dug Song <dugs...@duosecurity.com>
Date: Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 5:21 PM
Subject: [a2geeks] POLITICS: Downtown Library Bond Proposal
To: a2geeks <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I'm sensitive to political discussion on this list, but I believe this
ballot proposal to be uniquely pertinent to us.
I've been involved with the proposal to build our new
library<http://ournewlibrary.com/>downtown, and hope you'll join me in
voting for it. If you were at Ignite
Ann Arbor <http://www.igniteannarbor.com/> last week (which I sadly missed
due to work travel), you're already a member of the tribe, and understand
just how important it is for geeks to be able to, well, geek out together.
Personally, I have three reasons for supporting this initiative:
1. Ann Arbor's library system is one of the crown jewels of our community,
and we have the responsibility to ensure it will be so for the next
generation ("it's your kids, Marty, something has got to be done about your
kids!"). The cost to rebuild the downtown building is only 10% more than to
renovate - even with a much more ambitious plan with new meeting spaces to
engage more of the community with classes, events, and other resources (3D
printers, music equipment, etc.). While nobody likes the idea of tearing
down a building, the current building is simply inadequate, and the
economics are justified.
2. Besides coffee and bagel shops, Ann Arbor is lacking in public "third
places" downtown where community actually happens. a2geeks was started to
help wrangle and corral resources to help support our geek culture and
community, and the new library would be a HUGE part of that mission. I
recently visited my hometown
MD, and was amazed by how versatile a modern library facility could
Besides the AHAshop, the Library is the most crucial downtown center for my
aspirational geek life (and my kids') - and I want it to do more.
3. Many of our tech companies downtown (including Duo
are actively recruiting, and having a world-class, technically-advanced
library at the center of all the new construction, restaurants, and
independent businesses is an important part of our upgrade of the city core.
Other facts and figures follow, and I'm sure you'll nerd out appropriately
over this (as the fine folks behind the "Our New Library" campaign have,
with lots of excellent information - and some excellent comic stylings - as
an antidote to the crotchety anti-progress folks behind the disingenuous
"Save Our Library" campaign).
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, Oct 28, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Subject: Facts about the Downtown Library Bond Proposal
We've been getting many questions about the upcoming Bond Proposal. We
have put together this list of the most common questions and factual
answers. Please don't hesitate to email us at downt...@aadl.org if you have
further questions. Thanks for your interest in the library!
*What is the Downtown Library Bond Proposal?*
Residents of the Ann Arbor District Library service area will find a proposal
for a bond <http://aadl.org/files/vision-vote-faq.pdf> to fund a project to
replace the downtown library at the end of their November 6th ballot. If
approved, the proposal will authorize the sale of up to $65 Million of
bonds, and authorize the library to levy an annual property tax millage for
up to 30 years to make the bond payments.
*Why is the Downtown Library Bond being proposed now?*
The current building will need major investment over the coming years to
maintain or upgrade aging infrastructure. This will require increasing
percentages of AADL's operating
With interest rates at unprecedented lows and construction costs still well
below average, the AADL Board of
Trustees<http://www.aadl.org/aboutus/board>determined that now is the
time for the community to decide if a new
downtown library should be built, or if AADL should continue investing
operating funds in the current inefficient building. In 2007, the AADL
board studied the issue <http://www.aadl.org/buildings/downtown> of whether
to replace or renovate the Downtown Library to address the capacity issues,
and it was found that a new building would cost only 10% more than a
renovation. Those cost estimates were assessed again in 2012 and found to
be still valid.
*Why is the proposal for rebuilding a downtown library on the same site?*
AADL owns the site of the current downtown library, and it is by far the
most heavily used public library in the district. AADL is committed to
making information, events, workspace, and collections available downtown,
and current demand for these services is beyond the capacity of the current
building. The compromises involved in the previous two renovations to the
current downtown library building are a major factor that limits the
ability of a third renovation to add space and efficiency, so the AADL
Board voted to place the bond proposal on the November 6 ballot to seek
public approval for a new downtown library on the current site.
*Who is responsible for this project?*
The publicly-elected Board of Trustees of the Ann Arbor District Library is
the sole body responsible for the project, services, and facilities of the
AADL. AADL is an independent taxing authority, and the Downtown Library
Project is not affiliated with the Ann Arbor Public Schools, the City of
Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, or any other governmental or commercial
*How much will the project cost? What does that cost me?*
The bond proposal seeks authorization to sell up to $65 million of bonds to
be repaid over 30 years. That is enough to fund the estimated $53 million
of construction costs, plus demolition, rental of temporary facilities
during construction, furniture, equipment, technology, and other costs
related to the project including permits, architectural and interior
design, and engineering.
Once the bonds have been sold, the library will levy property taxes for the
annual bond payments. Depending on the interest rate at which the bonds are
sold, annual payments will by funded by a millage rate of .47 - .56 mills
per year, meaning the cost to the owner of a $200,000 home with a $100,000
taxable value will be between $47 - $56 per year. The library currently
levies 1.55 mills per year for operation, costing the owner of a $200,000
home with a $100,000 taxable value $155 per year.
Property Market Value Property Taxable Value Library Bond Millage Per Year
$150,000 $75,000 $42 $200,000 $100,000 $56 $250,000 $125,000 $70 $300,000
$150,000 $84 $350,000 $175,000 $98 $400,000 $200,000 $112
*When would the bond payments begin?*
If the proposal is approved by voters, the bonds would be sold in spring of
2013, and the millage would appear on tax bills starting summer 2013.
*If approved, what will happen to the Downtown Library?*
It is AADL's intent to have a downtown library open to the public
throughout the process. If approved, when the current building closes, a
temporary downtown library will open in a rented space offering request
pickup, drop boxes, internet access, a kids' area, and popular materials,
until the new building opens. AADL will not lay off staff during
construction. The current downtown collection will be temporarily relocated
and available by request as always during the construction process, and
will be brought back into the new building before it opens.
*If approved, when would the project begin and end?*
A solid timeline will be developed if the proposal is approved, but it is
anticipated that the project will begin by spring 2014 and construction
will last 18-27 months.
*If approved, who would design and build the library?*
The AADL Board will select an architect and construction manager if the
bond proposal is approved. AADL Board meetings, as always, are open to the
*If approved, how can the community give input on the design?*