City of Poulsbo backs library levy lift issue

POULSBO — For the second time in three weeks, the Poulsbo City Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting a property tax levy lid lift.

On April 4, the council was united in its backing of the Poulsbo Fire District’s quest to raise its assessment from its current 88 cents per $1,000 of assessed property valuation to $1.29 per $1,000.

Wednesday night, Kitsap Regional Libraries director Jill Jean made an appearance in an almost empty council chambers asking the council to support the library’s request to raise its levy from its current 30 cents to 48 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation.

Both measures will go before voters in the May 15 election.

Jean didn’t have to say much to walk away with the support from city officials.

Councilman Ed Stern, who was absent when the council approved the resolution backing the fire district, began the discussion by paying tribute to longtime library supporter Ruth Ryan, who died April 12.

“I believe she was very instrumental in the voter initiated larger district for the library,” Stern said.

On the issue of the council adopting resolutions advising residents how to vote on particular issues, which he has opposed in the past, Stern said he fully supports the decision to back the library levy lid lift.

“This has a direct impact on the city of Poulsbo,” he said.

If the measure passes, the KRL would for the first time be partnering with the city for 50 percent of the operations and maintenance cost, he said.

“I am very emboldened by the KRL’s new stance on partnerships,” Stern said.

When the city helped build the new library building, city officials had no way to attain assistance with the increased operations and maintenance costs that came with the library’s expanded hours from outside the city, Councilman Dale Rudolph said. That will change if the levy passes.

“I think we’ll be able to get our money back,” Rudolph said before addressing the impact of voter approved Initiative 747. “Because of the 1 percent limit on property tax, the library has been losing its tax base.”

Jean reiterated the library district’s commitment to building better relationships with all of its building owners throughout the county.

“We are really looking forward to new relations with our building owners,” she said. “That will be part of the proposal that we will go forward with.”

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