New Libraries and Expanded Aviary on Ballot

New Libraries and Expanded Aviary on Ballot

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Richard Piatt ReportingTwo new libraries, an expanded aviary, and more open space -- each item is on a list of propositions Salt Lake City voters will face in a Bond election next week.

A yes vote on each item would raise property taxes to also pay for improvements at the Hogle Zoo, for the Leonardo Center, and for a new Soccar complex. T ogether the bonds add up to 47.6 million dollars, but voters will be allowed to vote yes or no on each individual item.

Government specialist Richard Piatt continues his profile of the propositions by focusing tonight on the Libraries and Tracy Aviary.

For the pelicans it's a quiet day at Tracy Aviary. Visitors are scarce when the weather's bad, but behind the scenes the Aviary has plenty going on. It's asking taxpayers to vote for a 1.1 million dollar bond to improve the park.

Sharon Seitz, Tracy Aviary: "When you're dealing with almost 400 birds on seven and a half acres, we could not all at the same time redo all our exhibits that need to be rebuilt."

The Aviary is planning to build an Argentine bird exhibit to highlight birds that migrate through Utah. It's the first phase of an improvement plan to a popular spot away from it all.

Sharon Dale, Tracy Aviary: "The birds are an amazingly comforting creature. When you come to the aviary you have the park-like atmosphere and people get immersed in the birds."

It is people immersed in books that the Library bond is all about. Booming interest at the new Main Library is also pushing up demand at branch libraries--like the Chapman in Glendale.

Also, at the Day-Riverside library people are coming in from further away to borrow, read and study.

Nancy Tessman, Salt Lake Public Library: "What we know is the demand for what libraries do is very critical. And community centers are something libraries are helping to provide for these areas."

The library bond especially will be a test of the community's priorities. That's because the money for construction will be just the beginning. For example, with a new library, taxpayers will be expected to continuously pay just to keep them open.

The Library isn't hiding that fact, either. It is requesting 5.4 million dollars to get the branches built. Operating costs would require another, separate property tax increase.

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