KAYSVILLE — Two big money decisions await Kaysville residents in the voting booth this year — whether to build a new library and whether to put in an outdoor swimming pool.

Permission to seek general obligation bonds for $4.35 million to underwrite a new library will be before voters. They will also be asked if the city should bond for $3.5 million for an outdoor swimming pool complex.

If bonding is approved, the resulting property tax increases for each bond would be $28.91 per $100,000 assessed valuation for the library and $23.34 per $100,000 valuation for the swimming pool.

Both bonds would be paid off in 15 years.

If the library bond doesn't pass, residents will continue to use the existing library, the first in the county and built in 1922 — 24 years before the county established its library system.

If the pool bond fails, Kaysville residents will have to continue to use other area municipal or private pools. The proposed pool would be in Barnes Park, adjacent to existing recreation facilities. It would have a capacity of 273,000 gallons with 25-yard lanes, a 150-foot tube slide and other water park features.

Some residents argue the city should give up its library and join the county system; others want to keep an independent city library that would be much larger than a branch library the county might build in the city.

The decision is further complicated by an endowment that is restricted and might be lost if the city gave up its library to join the county system. The endowment, a result of land donated to the library by Alan and Kay Blood that was sold and the funds invested, brings in between $20,000 and $40,000 annually, depending on stock market conditions. In recent years, the income has been in the lower range, according to Bruce Allen, chairman of the library board.

"We never touch the principal, just the interest," Allen said. "Our library is so small now that if we buy a book, we have to literally take one off the shelves to put the new one in. As a result, we've saved up over $160,000 in endowment funds while waiting for a larger facility."

Under terms of the endowment, the money can be used only for books and other hands-on library items, not buildings or maintenance costs.

Allen, who has studied the pros and cons of building new and joining the system, said the minuses of going with the county far outweigh the pluses.

"If people understand the total situation here, it would be hard for them not to vote for the bond," he said.

The proposed new library would have 24,000 square feet — about four times as much as the present one — and shelf space to accommodate more than twice the current collection of approximately 40,000 books. It would be located near city hall and the current library.

The proposal comes down to money to Kaysville resident and new library opponent Andrea Richards.

"I think it will continue a tax burden for a city that has a hard time producing tax revenues," Richards said. "We decided to be a bedroom community, and I think that's great. I think libraries are great and if we didn't have one, I'd be the first one out there raising money. But we have a great county library system and it's the best library service for the best price."

To Richards, joining the county system means having access to all the books in the system plus Weber County libraries through a reciprocal agreement.

"I think the library board's job is to get the best service for its citizens it can, not just the biggest building," she said. "We're paying about $40 a year for the city library and we'd pay about the same to the county. But some people are paying an extra $30 a year to buy a county library card so they can access the county libraries."

Allen believes access to county libraries is coming someday.

"The new director of the state Library System came from Colorado where she changed the system so that if you have a library card you can borrow from any library in Colorado," she said. "I think that idea is spreading and it would be attractive to the county if we have a large library to have a reciprocal agreement with us."

A public meeting has been set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall to answer questions residents may have about the bond issues.


E-mail: lweist@desnews.com