This project was not begun in 2010. It is April 2011. It was a priority when the city passed the quality of life bond in 2009. It was budgeted for in 2010. The current Mayor has already delayed this project a year meaning it will be at least 2013 before the library hungry citizens of western Sioux Falls have their promised branch. Has anyone heard anything recently about the Westside Branch Library to be located on the southwest corner of Memorial Park?
And while we are looking for the Westside Branch Library, why not ask the question why branch library planned improvements have decreased as well. The 2011-2015 Capital Improvement Plan decreased Caille Branch Library Improvements from $80,000 (2010-2014 CIP) to $26,600. The Ronning Branch Library Improvements decreased from $67,000 (2010-2014 CIP) to $26,600 in the 2011-2015 CIP.
Are these reductions and the delay in the construction of the Westside Branch library part of the plan to help fill the Events Center cookie jar? When it is finally built, will the new Branch Library be a full service branch like the other three City branches with adequate hours of operation? What will it look like? Will there be enough books and other materials budgeted in preparation for the opening? Will there be services for children?
How will the new branch be staffed? Rumor has it that departments have been told no new staff and that they are to hold their 2012 proposed budgets to a zero percent increase. I don't believe you can do that and plan for a new branch library. I am not sure you can have a 2012 proposed budget reflecting a zero percent increase without a decrease in all program services in the general operating fund.