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2013 Mill Creek Library surveys show mixed results

A representative from Sno-Isle Libraries presented the results of the 2013 Mill Creek Library surveys at the February 6th Mill Creek Library Board meeting.
The Mill Creek Library had 287,984 visitors in 2012. The 7,370 square foot library has no room for expansion and the parking is very limited.

Sno-Isles Libraries conducted an on-line survey and a phone survey from January 18-28, 2013 to help them figure out whether or not to ask voters for money to replace the existing Mill Creek Library with a larger one.

The answers are not conclusive.

The on-line survey introduction explained that Sno-Isles Libraries is looking for “ways to better meet community needs at the Mill Creek Library, including parking, a meeting room for library programs and community groups and more space for books, CDs and other library materials.”

“Sno-Isle Libraries is considering relocating the library to a larger area along 132nd Avenue Southeast near Seattle Hill Road. Please take a few minutes to complete this anonymous survey about a potential larger library in a new Mill Creek location.”

A representative from Sno-Isle Libraries presented the results of the 2013 Mill Creek Library surveys at the February 6th Mill Creek Library Board meeting.

The presentation shows the following survey conclusions:

  • “The majority of the community is not yet confident in an economic recovery.”
  • “A supermajority of the community does not consider the current facility inadequate.”
  • “A majority of respondents support putting the ballot measures before the public.”

Key aspects of the survey results from the presentation are:

“Do you believe that the economy in 2013 will be better, worse, or about the same?”

  • “Phone survey responses: 37% Better, 20% Worse, 35% About the same, 8% Not sure.”
  • “Online/paper survey responses: 35% Better, 11% Worse, 40% About the same.”

“Is the current Mill Creek Library facility adequate?”

  • “Phone survey responses: 31% Yes, 58% No, 11% Not sure.”
  • “Online/paper survey responses: 23% Yes, 58% No, 19% Not sure.”

“Should Sno-Isle move forward with ballot issues at this time?”

  • “Phone survey responses: 66% Yes, 26% No, 8% Not sure.”
  • “Online/paper survey responses: 69% Yes, 17% No, 15% Not sure.”

Mill Creek Library Board member and Mill Creek City Councilmember Donna Michelson said the surveys show that a super majority of survey respondents would probably not support a bond issue to pay for the new Mill Creek Library, “We have to form the LCFA (Library Capital Facilities Area) to begin with and that has to pass with a simple majority… I think the wind kind of came out of their sails a little bit on some of the surveys, they couldn’t get the super majority to confirm something and they need the super majority to get the bond.”

The Sno-Isle Libraries presentation handout states that the purpose of the surveys was to help the Sno-Isle Libraries to decide whether or not to move forward to construct a new Mill Creek Library.

The presentation handout reports, “Construction of a new library building would require voter approval of two ballot measures:”

  • Creation of a Library Capital Facilities Area (LCFA), a special taxing district that funds only library construction projects - must be approved by a simple majority.
  • Approval of a bond measure that would increase property taxes within the LCFA for a 20-year period to fund library construction - must be approved by a (two-thirds) supermajority.

The presentation shows that a professional polling company conducted the telephone survey and participants were selected from registered voters within the potential Library Capital Facilities Area. This survey is more reliable than the online/paper survey because it represents a statistically valid cross-section of the community.

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