By John Scoblic
August 16, 2010
I'm the father of four children who are all enrolled in Ketchikan schools. I'm writing because we rarely use the public library anymore because we avoid the downtown area for so many months of the year.
On the Aug. 24 ballot, I will vote YES to support Proposition 1, which allows the city to build a library anywhere within the city limits. And I will vote NO on Proposition 2, which limits construction of a new library strictly within the downtown area.
I support the work the library committee and the city council has done so far to advance a new library building, I understand Ketchikan is in position to receive 50/50 matching state funding if we stay on track, and I am thrilled with the proposed Copper Ridge location at the top of the Third Avenue bypass.
My family and I are infrequent users of the library because it is downtown and a real pain to access for the majority of the year. I do not support any plans that would keep the library downtown. Our downtown has changed drastically in the last 20 years and I cannot imagine that keeping the Library downtown will change the feel of that part of our community.
My understanding is the downtown options for the library would be limited to the existing Centennial Building, the old Fire Station, and the old Main School parking lot at the top of Grant Street. All of these options are as inconvenient as the existing library and the Grant St. site is even worse due to steep and narrow access!
I am in support of the Copper Ridge site for a number of reasons. With four children that are active, we frequent Bear Valley for several activities at City Park, Walker Field, Schoenbar, Valley Park School and the Rec Center. We will soon also be on our way to the swimming pool there. I would like to emphasize that we are an active family and travel this route frequently and a new Library along this route would likely increase our user-ship of the facility. I think the views facing Deer Mt. and the ridgeline are beautiful and would make a nice setting for a public library.
I am in support of getting our chance at matching grant monies from the State to pay for half of the cost of development and building a new library. The time to act is now before the funding sources dry up. This debate has raged on for years now and this is our best chance to build a much-needed new library at an affordable cost.
Received August 13, 2010 - Published August 16, 2010
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