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Why is the library important?

The City of Takoma Park's Library is a vital resource for residents in our community. Due to the pandemic, the youth have fallen behind in school and need additional support. The library provides academic support, socialization, and a sense of community to many. It is important to prioritize youth achievement through the library project. As your mayor, Talisha will ensure that Council provides oversight of the construction project as it pertains to meeting budget and construction deadlines to maintain this community resource.

What about the cost?

The total cost for the library construction is $13.8 million. However, half of these costs are paid for using taxpayer dollars. The remaining 50 percent are funded using grant funds including $4 million of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). ARPA funds must be obligated by December 31, 2024 and spent by December 31, 2026. Therefore, it is important that we work fast to leverage these funds. Using these grant funds is the most cost-effective approach to ensure that we can complete the library project without subjecting residents with additional tax increases.

What will Talisha do?

Manage the cost to you- the taxpayer

  • In 2017, before Talisha was on Council, the City Council voted to obtain a $7 million, 30-year infrastructure bond loan at 3.65% interest. 
  • This is the portion of the library project that the City has been repaying since 2017. 
  • Talisha will work to ensure that the project is on budget and does not require City property tax funds beyond those committed in 2017.

Leverage grant funds

  • The City received $2.8 million in state grants and cable capital grants. Due to funding restrictions, these funds have limited use beyond the library project. 
  • The City is using $4 million in ARPA funds for the project. This is an allowable expenditure and constitutes 22 percent of the City's $17.5 million ARPA budget. 
  • Talisha will work to encourage that staff continue to leverage grant funds for this project.

Prioritize projects that impact all

The City has been working on the Library renovation project since 2014. It is a vital resource and provides an affordable childcare alternative for many families in our community.

Authorized By: Talisha4Takoma; Kelley Skelton, Treasurer
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