Referendum

Library/City Hall Project

The City is asking resident’s permission to issue capital loan notes in an amount not exceeding the amount of $3,800,000 to help fund reconstruction, renovation, remodeling, equipping and furnishing for the Library at the Farner Government Building located at 112/118 E 5th Street and the City Hall at the existing Commercial Savings Bank building located at 627 N Adams Street.  Carroll residents will have the opportunity to vote on this request during a special city election on August 1.

The question on the ballot will read as follows:

“Shall the City of Carroll, Iowa enter into a loan agreement and issue its general obligation capital loan notes in an amount not exceeding the amount of $3,800,000 for the purpose of reconstructing, renovating, remodeling, equipping and furnishing a building for use as City administrative offices and a City Hall, and thereafter for the reconstruction, renovation, remodeling, equipping and furnishing of the existing City administrative offices, City Hall, and Library for use as an expanded Carroll Public Library facility?”

By voting yes for the referendum, residents are giving the city permission to borrow funds for the project.

By voting no for the referendum, residents are not giving the city permission to borrow funds for the project.

This bond referendum will not require a tax increase. A funding plan is in place and taxes will not be affected.  Click here for more information on the funding plan.

In order for the referendum to pass, the question must receive a 60 percent plus one approval.

The election day for this referendum is August 1, 2017 with absentee voting now available.  Polling places will be open from 12:00 Noon to 8:00 p.m. in there normal location for City Elections.  Polling places are as follows:

        PRECINCT  POLLING PLACE
  Carroll Ward One St. John Lutheran Church, 801 E. 18th
  Carroll Ward Two First United Methodist Church, 1621 N. Main
  Carroll Ward Three Courthouse Meeting Room, 114 E. 6th
  Carroll Ward Four First United Methodist Church, 1621 N. Main

If you don't know where your polling place is, you can use the Iowa Secretary of State Polling Place Finder using this link.  Additionally, if you have questions on how or where to vote, please call the Carroll County Auditor's Office at (712) 792-9802 for voting information.

Carroll City administrative functions

Photo of existing CSB Building

This portion of the project involves renovating the existing Commercial Savings Bank building located at 627 N. Adams Street and moving the City administrative functions from the Farner Government Building to this renovated building.  It is anticipated this portion of the project will start in the Fall of 2018 once Commercial Savings Bank moves to their new building currently under construction on Highway 30 east of West Street. The building will be 7,997 square feet on the first floor with 5,380 square feet of non-public storage in the basement.

CSB - Floor Plan

All City offices and the Council chambers will be on the first floor, providing easy access for the public.

Carroll Public Library

Library Exterior Rendering

Once the City administrative functions relocate to the existing Commercial Savings Bank building in the summer of 2019, renovations on the Farner Government Building will begin at that time on the Carroll Public Library portion of the project. 

The renovation project involves consolidating the Library and current City administrative space into one integrated space.  Additionally, a small addition is proposed in order to connect the first floor to the existing second floor and make the second floor more usable by the public.

Library Interior Rendering

The total square footage of the renovated Library will be 19,740 square feet. 

Library Floor Plan

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we need an updated library?

The current library was built in 1975 and enlargement could help meet the needs of the community with books, programming and resources, since it does much more than simply loan books. Even with innovative adult and youth programs, educational outreach initiatives and helpful electronic resources, the Carroll library’s annual statistics indicate that patrons are still looking to their local library for a good read. The library has become a destination place where individuals and small groups come to work on projects, and for large groups to find adequate meeting space. In this age of instant information, the library still provides and directs people to reliable resources. The library has kept pace with technology changes and has even been on the cusp of new trends. It offers WIFI, computer access, 24/7 virtual access to e-Books and digital materials, and printing. The Carroll library is a community center of learning experience and entertainment, interaction and connection.

How will the project be funded?

The library project and repurposed Commercial Savings Bank for the Carroll City Hall will be funded with $3.8 million of bond proceeds, $2.5 million in donations from the Carroll Library Foundation, and $500,000 in Local Option Sales Taxes. Total cost for these projects is $6.8 million and includes all construction, professional fees, furnishing and other costs for the project at both buildings.  These figures do not account for the donation by Commercial Savings Bank of their existing building at 627 N Adams Street which is estimated to be worth approximately $1 million.

What will the new library look like?

  • Enlarging the Library in the existing Farner Government Building to 19,740 square feet 
  • The library renderings and floor plans are shown above. 

What else will the new library offer?

  • Designed as a community gathering space
  • Overall space will double in size
  • More meeting space and quiet room

What is the construction timeline?

If the referendum is approved on August 1st, renovations on the existing Commercial Savings Bank will start in the Fall of 2018 with the City administrative functions moving to that building in the summer of 2019.  Renovations on the Farner Government Building for the Carroll Public Library portion of the project will begin in the summer of 2019 once the City administrative functions move and are anticipated to be completed by mid-2020. 

What is your staffing plan for the expanded library?

The design of the expanded library, with all of the library functions under one roof, allows staff to watch over the entire Library from the circulation desk similar to the current library design.  The Library Board of Trustees has expressed no intent to request more funding for additional staff after expansion.

What happens if the referendum does not pass?

If the referendum does not pass, renovations at the Farner Government Building for the Library and the current Commercial Savings Bank for City administrative office will not proceed forward and residents will continue to use the Farner Government Building for Library and City Hall services as they do today.  The gift from Commercial Savings Bank will become null and void. 

Why not move the Library to the Commercial Savings Bank site and leave City Hall at the Farner Government Building?

First, the Property Gift Agreement between Commercial Savings Bank and the City of Carroll requires the City administrative offices move to the existing bank location and the Farner Government Building be renovated for Library purposes.  Donor wishes related to a major gift are important to follow. 

Second, as part of the feasibility study completed for the City of Carroll by OPN Architects, consideration was given to moving the Library to Commercial Savings Bank to evaluate which option would be most cost effective.  In December of 2016, OPN Architects estimated it would cost between $7 and $7.48 million to move the library to an expanded Commercial Saving Bank building and renovate the Farner Government Building for City Hall functions.  Ultimately, after including the cost of purchasing additional land for parking at the bank site for the library, the cost between this option and the selected option of moving City Hall and keeping the Library are approximately the same.

What is a referendum?

A referendum is a process whereby the voters of a governmental unit are given the opportunity to approve or disapprove a proposed new issue of municipal securities.  An election is most commonly required in connection with general obligation credit loans.

By voting yes for the bond referendum voters are giving the city permission to borrow funds for these projects.  By voting no voters are not giving the city permission to borrow funds for these projects.

What is a general obligation loan note?

A general obligation (G.O.) loan note is long-term borrowing in which the city pledges its full faith and credit (taxing power) to repay the debt over a specified term.

How can these projects be completed without raising taxes?

The City has been discussing a Library project since 1999 and has been actively planning for this project since the gift of the existing Commercial Savings Bank (CSB) building, worth approximately $1,000,000, was announced by CSB in February of 2016. 

The 2018-2022 Capital Improvement Program and financing plan include borrowing $5.6 million for the Library/City Hall project.  After working with architectural professionals to find cost savings in the plan and identifying other funding sources, the overall amount of borrowing needed has been lowered to a $3.8 million. 

Finally, with current short and long term debt being paid off in the near future, the City is able to construct these facilities, if approved, without a tax rate increase. 

Do you have more questions about this project?

Send us an email and we will get back to you!

Quick Facts

The following are quick facts on the Library/City Hall project:

  • The total project cost including construction, architect/professional fees, furniture, and all other cost is $6,800,000. 
  • The project will be funded with $3.8 million of bond proceeds, $2.5 million in donations from the Carroll Library Foundation, and $500,000 in Local Option Sales Taxes. 
    • These figures do not account for the donation by Commercial Savings Bank of their existing building at 627 N Adams Street which is estimated to be worth approximately $1 million.
  • If the referendum fails, the property gift agreement between the City of Carroll and Commercial Savings Bank will become null and void and the building will not be gifted to the City.
  • Donations being made to the Carroll Library Foundation are contingent on the project moving forward.  Source: Carroll Library Foundation
  • The project includes both renovations at the Farner Government Building for the Library and the existing Commercial Savings Bank for the City Administrative functions. 
  • If the referendum is approved on August 1st, renovations on the existing Commercial Savings Bank will start in the Fall of 2018 with the City administrative functions moving to that building in the summer of 2019.
  • The cost to repurpose the  Commercial Savings Bank for City administrative functions is approximately $2,025,000.
  • The City Administrative functions at the Commercial Savings Bank site will use 7,990 SF on the first floor. 
  • Renovations on the Farner Government Building for the Carroll Public Library portion of the project will begin in the summer of 2019 once the City administrative functions move and are anticipated to be completed by mid-2020. 
  • The cost to rehabilitate the  Farner Government Building for the Library’s use is approximately $4,775,000.
  • The size of the proposed Library is 19,760 SF.
  • The total cost per square foot is $245 per square feet for the entire project.
  • With an assumed 40-year life span, like the current Farner Government Building has lasted, the annualized cost of the project is $170,000 per year.
  • The design of the expanded library, with all of the library functions under one roof, allows staff to watch over the entire Library from the circulation desk similar to the current library design.  The Library Board of Trustees has expressed no intent to request more funding for additional staff after expansion.
  • Related to similarly sized communities of 8,000-12,000 people in Iowa, the average square foot per person is 1.70 square foot per resident. Source: FY 2016 Iowa Public Library Statistics, State Library of Iowa. 
  • Similarly sized communities to Carroll range between 0.56 to 3.24 square feet of Library space per resident.  Source: FY 2016 Iowa Public Library Statistics, State Library of Iowa. 
  • Carroll currently has only 0.95 square feet of Library space per resident.  This places Carroll as the 5th smallest Library out of 18 similarly sized cities in Iowa. Source: FY 2016 Iowa Public Library Statistics, State Library of Iowa. 
  • The proposed project will take Carroll to 1.95 square feet of Library space per resident.  This would place Carroll near the average library size as the 8th largest Library out of 18 similarly sized cities in Iowa. Source: FY 2016 Iowa Public Library Statistics, State Library of Iowa and OPN Architects Floor Plans.
  • The City of Carroll has the second lowest level of debt to debt limit for similarly sized communities in Iowa at 6.88%.  The average debt to debt limit for similarly sized cities is 30.00%. Source: State of Iowa Auditor of State, City Annual Financial Reports.
  • This bond referendum will not require a tax increase. A funding plan is in place and taxes will not be affected.
  • Commercial Savings Bank has generously donated their existing bank building to aid in the expansion of the Library.
  • At the existing bank building the Council Chambers will be on the main floor and will be more accessable to the public. 
  • The 1975 Farner Government Building has not been updated and deferred maintenance items will need to be addressed in the near future.  
  • 2017 Reading Program numbers:
    • Adults - 400
    • Children - 1050
  • Over the last 10 years the door counts for the Library have remained above 78,000 per year, peaking at over 90,000.  Source:  Carroll Public Library Annual Report FY 2016.
  • Program attendance has jumped in the past 10 years by over 10,000.  Source:  Carroll Public Library Annual Report FY 2016.
  • The Carroll Public Library not only serves the citizens of Carroll but also Coon Rapids, Glidden, Manning, Arcadia, Breda, Dedham, Halbur, Lidderdale, Templeton and Willey.   Source:  Carroll Public Library Annual Report FY 2016.
Referendum

Learn More:

Public Information Open House:

July 17 from 9 AM to 10:30 AM

July 26 from 4 PM to 7 PM

July 27 from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM

The meetings will be held at the at the Carroll Public Library at 118 5th Street in an open house format with no formal presentation and everyone is welcome to come when convenient.

The City Manager is available to meet with your group. Call (712) 792-1000.

Voter Information:

Vote August 1, 2017

Polls are open
12 Noon - 8 p.m.

WHERE TO VOTE

VIEW SAMPLE BALLOT

News Stories:

City Gets First Look At Proposed Carroll Public Library And New City Hall

Your Library Vote: Aug. 1

Giant Step Forward For Carroll Library Expansion. We Are Going To A Vote!