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KRL puts new levy on Nov. 2 ballot

Directors of the Kitsap Regional Library say they feel cautious but prepared in bringing a levy increase to county voters on Nov. 2 that will raise $36.5 million over 10 years for library expansion, operations and maintenance.

Voters spurned a levy request three years ago and KRL considered another attempt last year before deciding it wasn’t ready.

Now, however, they feel more confident with their new proposal and the fact there has been a dramatic increase of library users during the last two years. Prior to its levy defeat in 2007, KRL had previously gone to voters only in 1979.

“We feel we’ve gotten ourselves together financially and are coming to voters in a very clean way,” said Jean Jill, the library system’s director. “We made a lot of mistakes and we weren’t as respectful to the voters as we should have been.”

KRL’s latest measure will involve all of its nine branches, including:

– A number of enhancements to the Bainbridge Island Library.

– Building new branches in Silverdale and Kingston;

– Partnering ($3 million worth) with the City of Port Orchard for a new library;

– Building improvements or expansions at Downtown Bremerton, Little Boston, Sylvan Way, Poulsbo and Manchester.

The plan is to spend $20 million of the levy on capital projects and $16 million on operations during the next 10 years. Most of the capital funds will be spent during the first six years.

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