The City of El Cerrito and BART are making good progress toward a new library near the Plaza BART Station. This first day of spring we wanted to tell you of hopeful steps that are happening. If all goes well, a new library might spring into being before too long! (Please excuse the bad pun.)
The latest development in this saga is that the City Council recently directed City staff to explore several options for raising the money that the City will need to contribute to building the BART Plaza Library project.
At a February 21 study session, the City Council explored ways that the City could possibly raise the financing to pay for the new library as a part of the Plaza BART housing and retail complex.
The good news is that if the library is a part of this project, it will cost significantly less to build than if it is built as a separate freestanding structure, approximately $20 million rather than $30 million.
It now looks as if the new library could be a part of construction that might start in early 2025 if the City is ready to pay its share at that time.
This means that the City will have to come to El Cerrito voters with a financing plan in spring 2024, only a year from now.
At the Feb. 21 study session the Council directed staff to explore several approaches to raising the building costs for a new library and also asked staff to explore whether there is an appropriate financing measure that would support operating costs for the new library.
Staff will be coming back to the Council soon with a report on what they learn.
We will keep you informed of progress with occasional news reports from the Foundation. If you know of others who might be interested, direct them to our Foundation web site at: https://eclibraryfoundation.org/
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