June 1, 2010: Dear Friends,
Over the past several months I have testified at the District Council’s oversight hearing for DCPL, the 2011 DCPL Budget Hearing, and the May 26th DCPL Board of Trustees meeting; and I wanted to report on the challenges for the West End Library, as well as to ask for your help.
It is now apparent that the 2011 operating budget for our libraries has been substantially reduced and that capital funding to improve the library branches has been eliminated for next year and most probably for years to come.
As a result, the likelihood of the Council approving funding for any remodel to the public buildings on Square 37 (site of the library) and Square 50 (the fire station) are non-existent. Therefore, public approval of a surplus land disposition resolution and endorsement of the selected developer (Eastbanc) becomes important because this will start the development process which will lead to a new library and fire station in our community.
On June 9th at 6:00 p.m., at the Library, the Deputy Mayor will hold a public meeting to hear from you as to whether or not our community is ready to move forward with a development by declaring the unused air over and around the library and fire station, and the entire police station site, is to be classified as surplus land. This will ensure that this property can then be redeveloped with new mixed use facilities.
On June 16th at 3:00 p.m., at the Wilson Building, the District Council will conduct a hearing in which you may affirm that the community is ready to move forward with the above referenced surplus land disposition resolution; that there has been a full, open, and public process leading up to the selection of a developer; and that the community through the various civic organizations (ANC, FBA, WECA, and WELF) has endorsed the developer selected by the District. I recommend you stress that time is of the essence because a new library, new fire station, affordable housing fitting two different income profiles is a community priority.