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King County rural library bond OK'd

KING COUNTY - Certified election returns, released last week, showed voters approved a $172-million King County Library System bond that will be used to update existing facilities and build several new libraries, including locations in Snoqualmie and Fall City.

According to the results, a 63-percent approval rating (146,847 votes) was earned compared to a 36-percent "no" vote (84,166 votes). A 60-percent supermajority was needed for approval.

The approved 20-year bond replaces a 1988 capital bond that is set to expire in 2011. The bond will cost county residents about 8 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, which equates to about $16 per year for a $200,000 home. The funds will be collected beginning next year.

King County officials said all 43 of the system's libraries will be affected by the bond. Fall City is slated to receive a new 5,000-square-foot library at its current location on Southeast 42nd Place, with construction scheduled for 2007. Snoqualmie would get a 6,000-square-foot library located somewhere in the Snoqualmie Ridge neighborhood. Construction on the Snoqualmie location could begin in 2009.

Library expansions are slated for a number of sites including Carnation and Duvall.

Last year the library system garnered 52.5 percent approval for a $158-million bond, which found them short of the supermajority needed for approval.

If the bond were to have failed, library officials said funds from the operating budgets would've been used to pay for needed improvements at facilities. That move would've found the library system cutting back on services.

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