With the opening of the Buena Vista Branch Library, some community
members are eager to proceed with plans to replace the Central and
Northwest Branch libraries.
Measure L, on the city’s Feb. 25 primary ballot, will start the
process. Two-thirds of the voters must agree to the mea- sure, which
would allow con- struction of the two new facil- ities at an
estimated cost of $38 million. If approved, the city will apply for
a state grant to cover two-thirds of the cost, with the city footing
the rest of the bill.
Residential and commercial property owners would be assessed $1
per month on each $100,000 of assessed value, or about $3 a month for
the average homeowner, said Paula M. Paggi, Burbank Unified School
District librarian and a member of the “Yes On L” steering committee.
The grass-roots campaign began last week at its headquarters, 144
S. First St., with volunteers picking up yard signs and heading out
into the community to lobby voters.
“It’s the beginning of the nuts and bolts to try to get the word
out to everybody,” committee chairman Tom Bruehl said.
If the measure is defeated, Bruehl said taxpayers will foot the
construction cost for any new library buildings in the city.
“We did pay for Buena Vista all on our own, but it took us 17
years to do it,” Paggi said.
She said people know there is a need for the new libraries, al-
though some voters won’t vote for anything that raises their taxes.
The Central and Northwest libraries lack the space they need for
children’s reading programs, study and homework centers for teens,
and services and programs for seniors. Additionally, Central has a
severe parking shortage, and access for people with disabilities does
not meet federal requirements.