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Finding the right words

The city will review a ballot title it wants residents to vote on in May about building a new library-civic complex


The Canby City Council will review at its Feb. 5 meeting the wording for a ballot title for an advisory vote on using Urban Renewal Agency money to build a civic center, including a library and city offices.

If nothing changes, the city will post the ballot title, which will have a seven-day challenge period. And at its Feb. 19 meeting, council will likely adopt a resolution referring the measure to the voters.

The deadline for putting a measure on the May 20 primary election ballot is March 20.

As presently worded,

"Question: Should the Canby Urban Renewal Agency proceed with construction of a civic center consisting of city offices and a library?"

The summary informs the vote does not affect taxes. A "Yes" vote advises the Canby Urban Renewal Agency to use available URA funds secured in December 2012 to build a civic center. The ballot summary says that construction would provide a new modern, spacious and efficient library and consolidate city offices and staff from five current, aging buildings into one location, improving efficiency and operating costs.

The available funds cited in the summary is the $8.9 million ent library and consolidate city offices and staff from five current, aging buildings into one location, improving efficiency and operating costs.

originally intended to remodel city hall offices and build a new library on Second Avenue, between Holly and Ivy streets. That project was approved in August 2012 and killed by a new council majority in July 2013.

A "No" vote would advise that the secured URA funds be used for other URA projects. The list of projects are available on the city website.

The vote is advisory only and will not be legally binding on the agency or the city.

City Council Tim Dale said the city was pleased with the ballot title wording.

“We came away with something every one was in agreement with,” he said. “We just wanted something that was simple, understandable.

“What we wanted to get across in the measure was we are asking permission to spend urban renewal funds on a civic project and to make it clear there is no new debt, no new taxes. This is the money we already secured back in December 2012.”

“As far as we know," Dale said, “we’re the first to do this in Oregon, to ask the voters’ permission.”

Where the civic center will be built remains undecided. The scuttled Second Avenue project was succeeded by one to build a two-story civic center and library on Third Avenue, between Holly and Ivy streets.

That plan was abandoned when an owner refused to sell property essential to the project,

That plan was succeeded by one to build a two-story library on Third Avenue, including the present library site. That plan was abandoned after the owner of one of the properties essential to the project would not sell. The city is now investigating the feasibility of building a two-story library on Second Avenue between Ivy and Juniper streets.



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