A $108 million bond issue to upgrade the St. Louis County library system – including new construction and renovation of existing buildings – on the Nov. 6 ballot has received the endorsement of the Greater St. Louis Labor Council and the St. Louis Building & Construction Trades Council.
Proposition L will impact all 20 facilities in the county’s library system. It will be the largest project in the district’s 66-year history. The last tax increase for the library system was in 1983.
The building trades council has been advised that all the work will the done union under a Project Labor Agreement, said Jeff Aboussie, executive secretary-treasurer of the St. Louis Building & Construction Trades Council.
The initial master plan for the library system calls for replacing eight of the system's 20 branches at a cost of $76.9 million, and spending an additional $12.7 million in renovations and $9 million in upgrades for other libraries.
The proposed plan would increase the tax rate by six cents to 22.3 cents for each $100 assessed valuation. It would also give the district the authority to raise its property tax ceiling to a max of 26 cents.
The cost to the owner of a $150,000 home would be an extra $17.10 a year.
Cities that have their own library systems will not vote on the issue. They are Brentwood, Ferguson, Kirkwood, Maplewood, Richmond Heights, Rock Hill, University City, Valley Park and Webster Groves.
Library work to be done
Libraries across St. Louis County will see improvements. Here’s a tentative list of the library projects if Proposition L is passed Nov. 7:
• Headquarters – 60,000 square feet, $19.5 million
• Operations – 40,000 square feet, $10 million
• Tesson Ferry – 40,000 square feet, $20 million*
• Lewis and Clark – 20,000 square feet, $6.5 million
• Thornhill – 20,000 square feet, $6.5 million
• Meramec Valley – 15,000 square feet, $7.9 million*
• Mid-County – 20,000 square feet, $6.5 million
RENOVATIONS AND ADDITIONS
• Florissant Valley – New entrance, $3 million
• Daniel Boone – 20,000-square-foot addition, $6.5 million
• Grand Glaize – 5,000-square-foot addition, $1.6 million
• Rock Road – 5,000-square-foot addition, $1.6 million
$1 million for each of nine libraries: Bridgeton Trails, Cliff Cave, Indian Trails, Jamestown Bluffs, Natural Bridge, Oak Bend, Prairie Commons, Samuel C. Sachs and Weber Road.
* Includes land costs