City manager fields questions about site funding optionsSEASIDE - Some Seaside residents will receive a Seaside Public Library survey in their mailboxes by the end of September.

Library Site Committee members will send the survey to a sampling of registered voters, Chairwoman Cynthia Svensson said. Although an exact number for the sampling has not been chosen, Svensson hopes to get several hundred responses. At a workshop Wednesday with the City Council, the committee fine-tuned questions on the survey. It is designed to gather public input on the size and site of a new library building.

Surveys also will be available at the library. Councilor Larry Haller suggested that surveys be distributed as a class project in local schools.

"It would give them a chance to give input on their community," he said. "It would give them ownership in their library."

The library continued to run at full capacity through August, said Library Director Reita Fackerell. Last month's circulation was the highest August circulation on record, with more than 9,000 materials checked out. More than 5,300 people visited the library.

Mayor Don Larson asked Fackerell what kind of comments staff hear about the library. She said that people say the library is too crowded, noisy and that there is not enough work space. Currently, the library has room for only two work tables.

The mayor affirmed that the City Council is behind the project and will ask that a resolution of support be placed on the next council meeting agenda.

The survey will ask patrons how often they visit the library, how they get to the library and what services they use most often.

Patrons are also invited to give their opinion of future library locations, size and architectural design. Patrons may pick a location from several choices, such as near Seaside High School, or suggest another location.

The survey will ask patrons if they would be willing to support a bond issue to help finance a new library. The committee's next step after the survey is returned is to examine ways to fund the new facility.

"If people aren't willing to support this project financially, it's not fair to ask them what they want," Svensson said. "We can't necessarily guarantee that they'll get what they want. That's why we'll ask them to rank their choices for the library."

There was some discussion during the workshop about grants, a bond issue and other forms of funding. But City Manager Mark Winstanley cautioned the committee about moving too quickly into the funding phase.

"I don't think you should get too tied up in the dollars right now," he said. "Site, size and quality should come first. You want to make good library decisions and then work on the dollars."

The library is at 60 N. Roosevelt Drive. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday; and closed Monday.

The committee meets at 1 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month in the library.

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