This past Wednesday in the MV City Council study session, the council agreed to allow the Mayor to enter a purchase option for the proposed Library Commons site at 208 Kincaid St, across from the county courthouse. The City and Skagit County have been in discussion on this matter since March 2018 and thanks in part to efforts on the part of newly elected Commissioner Peter Browning a purchase agreement is now close to finalization. A purchase price of $353,000 has been agreed, along with some corrections to rights-of-way in that area.
The Mayor also outlined a possible funding plan which would assemble the approximate $40 million required for the combined parking garage, library and community meeting center. There are still elements of this to be worked out, but about half of the amount could be secured by a councilmatic bond which the city can put in place without a vote. This is because the City has almost no debt obligation and there is a $500,000/year inflow from the Local Infrastructure Financing Tool (LIFT) Program which basically redirects sales taxes paid to the state back to Mount Vernon.
Securing the site allows the next steps to take place which involves engaging an architectural and engineering company to come up with more specific plans and to verify what will be needed to build on that location. Commencing engineering work also will enable the City and the Foundation to begin securing grant funding from a number of sources.
These are definite positive steps forward and we can begin to see this project finally start to take shape. The Skagit Valley Herald had a nice front page article on Friday that recapped the meeting. More to come!