Seaside ponders new library site; city to discuss funding with urban renewal agencySEASIDE - The Seaside City Council is moving closer to a new library.

After six years of discussion, three preferred sites have been targeted. But other sites are still under consideration.

The preferred locations are:

• The current home of the Assembly of God Church at 540 S. Holladay Drive.

• The Seaside Realty property at 1000 S. Holladay Drive.

• An area across the street from the Sunset Empire pool.

"They were looking at the three best," Seaside City Planner Kevin Cupples said. He said he will see which sites can be purchased. The Sunset Empire site is already partly city-owned.

LAUREL EDDY - The Daily Astorian

The Assembly of God location.Seaside has been seriously discussing a new library since 1998, Library Director Reita Fackerell said. After a site in the middle of Broadway Park was voted down by the public, the Seaside Library Building Committee chose three other sites. However, by the time money was raised to buy a site, all three were gone, Fackerell said.

"It was such a political process, it really divided the community," she said. "The library staff were made the objects of anger and hate and all we were doing was just working."

Cupples said city staff will discuss funding with the urban renewal agency, probably at a 7 p.m meeting Oct. 6 at the Seaside City Hall. Both Holladay Drive sites are in the urban renewal area, and if the library were built there, the agency might choose to help fund the project, Cupples said.

Property south of Broadway.

LAUREL EDDY - The Daily AstorianUrban renewal programs receive money from the properties in the designated area, but can only spend the money on that area, he said. It also is a limited amount of money.

City Manager Mark Winstanley "needs to know what urban renewal's committed to thus far," Cupples said. "How much are they going to commit to it if they decide it's a good thing?"

Fackerell said she thought the urban renewal agency would support the plan.

"Using urban renewal money to put a library in a blighted area is what urban renewal is all about," she said.

When the planning department has picked its preferred site, it will make a recommendation to the City Council, Mayor Don Larson said. Then the council will start to gather public comment.

"Everyone wants a one-story, so I'm sure we'll go with a one-story," Larson said. "Several years ago, we had a proposed design. We're probably going to use the same architect. We're probably going to use the same design."

All three sites call for a 12,000-square-foot building, more than twice the size of the current library. It also would comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

"We'd get our books off the floor," Fackerell said. "We would have a place that was ADA compliant. ... We would have study areas and tables."

She also said the new library would probably include three times the current number of computers, more

meeting space and a young adult section.

"A library reflects the community's spirit," she said. "A lot of people, when they visit a community, will go to the library first."

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