SEASIDE - The City Council in Seaside asked City Manager Mark Winstanley to get definite prices for two possible library sites at a Wednesday workshop. The Seaside Realty site is across the street from the Seaside Police Station on Holladay Drive, while the other site is across the street from Sunset Pool on Broadway Drive.

Both sites have enough room for a 12,000-square-foot building and the required amount of parking, Winstanley said.

Councilor Larry Haller said waiting to choose a site will help the negotiators secure a lower price. "I think it's just good business for us not to make a decision," he said.

The Seaside Realty site is riverfront property, which is an advantage aesthetically. It is exactly what urban renewal funds are designed for, Winstanley said. The urban renewal district has funds to improve unsightly areas within the district, which includes the Seaside Realty property. Winstanley said the district might contribute as much as 50 percent to the project, which he tentatively estimated at $3.3 million.

The owner of the Seaside Realty property has been talking about a price between $1.2 and $1.3 million, Winstanley said. The city would have to locate exactly where wetlands are on the site before any construction.

The site across from the pool is located near Safeway, schools, the senior center and Broadway Park, and the projected figure for land costs is only $830,000. It would require buying property from Clatsop County, the Sunset Parks and Recreation District and two private owners. Winstanley said the city can build a new Boy Scout house, which is the county's primary concern, and has the option to partially compensate the parks district with some Broadway Park land. He said the Girl Scout house would not be affected.

Winstanley said the property could be added to the urban renewal district and become eligible for those funds if that is what the district chooses to do.

"Both sites are advantageous for many reasons," Librarian Reita Fackerell said. She commended the council for moving forward on the issue.

The council asked Winstanley to get buying figures for each of the sites. He was encouraged to use outside consultants who specialize in acquiring property for government bodies. Councilors said specialists might get a lower price and would not have any conflict of interest.

Winstanley said an estimate of the cost of building the library, not counting the cost of the land, was $2.1 million. Donations, grants, money from the housing rehabilitation loan program, urban renewal funds, money from the sale of the current library site and a possible bond measure can all contribute to the cost, Winstanley said.

Winstanley said he will present hard numbers for land prices to the council as soon as possible.

The library siting issue has taken many years and deeply divided Seaside during a time when Broadway Park was chosen as a site. Citizens eventually voted down that site. Councilor Diana Schafer received agreement from the council when she said enthusiastically, "I just want to get this thing done."

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