December 8, 2011
Firms will soon be able to bid for construction of the new Crozet Library after the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Wednesday unanimously voted to move forward with the project and issue a Request for Proposals (RFP).
Supporters of the hotly debated building in the western Albemarle County community last month urged supervisors to "move the new library from fantasy to nonfiction", and it appears they will do just that. Supervisor Ann Mallek (D-White Hall) thanked the steadfast supporters for making the new library a reality.
"This would never have happened without you. I may be the point of the spear, but you are the muscle. The sustained, informed, persistent outreach from many members of the community was and still is essential. You wrote letters, made phone calls, met with supervisors individually, sent emails, and stormed the BOS meetings with witty and intelligent information about the history of the project," she said in an official statement.
Crozet residents have long advocated for a new library, saying the current one has too few books and is too small, a point reinforced by the Albemarle County Fire Marshal's report that a capacity limit of 50 people - that includes patrons and staff - must be placed on the current library.
Albemarle County has long considered building a new library and has the land and a new parking lot ready, but the money was always missing. That's no longer the case. If the county moves the equalized tax rate from 74.2 to 76.5 cents per $100 of assessed property value it will be able to fund the construction.
Supervisors will approve final wording at their financial planning discussion on Dec. 14. Of course, a final vote is still needed to begin construction, and that likely won't come until the board meets to discuss the 2013 budget in March or April of next year.
Mallek says the bid documents will be finalized in January. And to insure the project doesn't fall through the cracks, the Capitol Improvement Program (CIP) committee has the library as its main project.