The Business Case

The decision to ask residents to vote on a bond for a new Library was extensively studied and discussed among the City Council, the Library Board and City Staff. While studying this issue, City leaders weighed the following facts to arrive at the decision to ask residents to vote on a new Library facility instead of renovating the current facility.

Current Use of the Library

The Library is the most visited City facility with over 140,000 visitors a year with over 262,000 materials circulated annually. 

Value of the Library to the Community

Libraries offer more than just books, they provide free educational resources to the whole community. They provide technology training, job resources, tax preparation resources, free internet access, and more. A 2017 study commissioned by the Texas Public Library and Archives Commission, found that there is a measurable economic impact and return on investment to communities with a thriving public library. View the Study Here

Current State of the Library Facility

The current facility is 56 years old. It was originally built as a Fire Station and then retrofitted into a Library in 1974. Today, the facility is in need of a new roof, foundation repair, new HVAC, technology upgrades to keep up with basic demand, carpet replacement, and the entire facility needs to be brought into ADA Compliance.  The estimated cost to complete these projects is about $12 million. See the Estimate

Library Facility Maintenance Cost Over the Past 5 Budget Years and Projected Future Maintenance Costs

The City tracks cost and data on every City facility and the Library data shows the yearly maintenance costs for the 56 year old building continues to rise. See the Data

Cost to Build New

The proposed $24 million bond is an all-in number. It includes the demolition of the current facility, design and construction of the new facility (on city owned property across the street) parking, finish-out, and returning the current Library land back to park land and enhancing the park land. This cost for the new Library alone is $20 million, less than twice the cost of the needed renovations.

Cost to Residents

Should the Library Bond pass, the property tax increase would be 3¢. For the average household in Farmers Branch with a homestead exemption, that is an estimated $53.06 per year. For the average Senior in Farmers Branch with a homestead and senior exemption, it's an estimated $33.56 per year. See More On Property Tax Impacts Here 

A fact to note, in 2017 residents passed a $15 million bond package that would have increased taxes by 2¢. City leaders were able to absorb that increase into the City budget and not increase taxes; instead the City's tax rate was actually lowered. 

The Value of a New Library and Park to Residents

The City's mission is to build a vibrant, dynamic community that consistently seeks to improve the quality of life for our residents. Our vision is to be a city of the future with a vibrant and diverse economy that supports beautiful parks, great amenities, and friendly neighborhoods.
The Library's mission is to provide the community with an inviting center for learning, culture, recreation and information in all its forms.

Building a new Library that integrates a park falls in-line with the Library and the City's mission and vision. This project works towards improving quality of life by providing a Library built for the future that adds to the City's greenspace and provides a new park amenity. 

You Decide

The above information is given to provide insight as to why the City chose to put a bond for a new Library before voters. Ultimately, voters will decide if a new Library will be built. Should the bond fail, City leaders will put together a plan of action to renovate the existing Library. 

When Is Voting?

Visit our Voting Information Page