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Renton City Council to get draft language on library ballot measure

 UPDATE: The City Council decided Monday night to consider a ballot measure for the Aug. 7 primary ballot that would give the public a vote in the downtown library location. City staff will provide the council with detailed information next week, then the council would vote on April 23 whether to place the measure on the ballot.

City officials will present draft language to the Renton City Council tonight (Monday) of a ballot measure for the August ballot that could give the public a say in the location of the downtown Renton library.

The exact wording of the ballot measure's title – 75 words – was being worked on Monday for the council meeting at 7 p.m. at council chambers, seventh floor, City Hall, 1055 S. Grady Way.

Either Mayor Denis Law or council President Rich Zwicker will present the ballot measure information.

It's anticipated that the council will not discuss the ballot measure further until its next meeting, to give staff time to prepare additional information, said Kelley Balcomb-Bartok, a City of Renton spokesman.

City officials also will meet again Tuesday with officials from the King County Library System, which whom the city has contracts to build two new libraries.

The city must act by May 15 to get information into the voters' guide for the August election.

Balcomb-Bartok stressed that the ballot measure is not about a new vote on the city's annexation to the King County Library System. "That has never been an option," he said.

Balcomb-Bartok also clarified that architects are close to finishing the design work for the new library next to the Piazza downtown and that work will continue and not be put on hold.

City officials have been discussing ways to get the public involved in the library site-selection process since the City Council on March 2 voted not to move forward with a citizens initiative that would have kept the downtown library over the Cedar River, if the initiative was ultimately approved by voters.

KCLS also will hold a public meeting and open house, 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, May 3, on the current designs for the new library branch in the Renton Highlands.

The meeting is at the current Highlands library, 2902 N.E. 12th St., Renton.

The designs will be presented by the architectural team from the THA Architecture. Following the presentation, representatives from KCLS and the City of Renton will be available to hear comments and answer questions.

 

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