Seattle City Council votes to add $5.8 million to library levy

Apr 18, 2019, 9:03 AM | Updated: Apr 19, 2019, 8:49 am

library, Seattle library...

(Photo via Seattle Municipal Archives)

(Photo via Seattle Municipal Archives)

A $213 million library levy that — among other measures — would eliminate overdue library fines was amended by Seattle City Council, to include an additional $5.8 million.

SCC Insight reported that the council advanced the amended measure of out committee Wednesday. The extra money would be used to fund a trio of additional measures.

  • $2.51 million for keeping 26 library branches open for an extra hour between Monday and Thursday.
  • $1.15 million for a Community Resource Specialist program, designed to connect homeless library patrons to services and resources. It also includes funding to employ an additional full-time social worker and a part-time case manager.
  • $2.12 million for expansion of the popular “Play and Learn” program, providing educational resources to children from birth, up to three years old.

Back in March, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced plans to use $8 million from the levy to eliminate Seattle Public Library fines for late items. It also would fund renovations and maintenance, and invest in library collections and technology services, among other needs.

RELATED: Part of new levy would eliminate overdue library fines
RELATED: Kitsap Library swaps late fees for good old-fashioned guilt

“By renewing our shared investments in The Seattle Public Library, we can lift up the places where communities come together, open up doors to learning, and make Seattle a more equitable place to live,” Mayor Durkan said in a March news release.

The money would be collected through a seven-year, $213 million property-tax levy, replacing the expiring seven-year, $123 million levy. It would cost a median value homeowner approximately $7 per month, according to the mayor’s office, $1.58 per month more than the current levy.

The levy is due for final approval from city council on Monday. If given the OK, it will then appear on the August 6 ballot.

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Seattle City Council votes to add $5.8 million to library levy