Most would say that it is now time for some belt-tightening in all aspects of our lives, especially in the public domain, and it's also time to reuse and repurpose what we already have. The city owns a very nice and very large building on Kruse Way … let's use it!
The city owns the giant West End Building and consequently is receiving no taxes whatsoever from it. So should we now buy up more expensive tax-paying property to put a library building and parking garage that will cost us more money and on which we will receive no future taxes?
The WEB has plenty of space for many, if not all, city services including city hall, the maintenance department and police, so let's use the building we already have.
The WEB has plenty of room for a huge library, meeting rooms, computer and entertainment rooms, with more parking spaces than will ever likely be used, so let's not build new space and new parking.
Let's not put a new library on one of the busiest corners in downtown Lake Oswego… buses, trucks and plenty of auto traffic turn the corner from State Street to B Avenue constantly. How could children ever be safe in that environment? Let's have a small shuttle bus running from the center of town to the WEB for kids and everyone to get to and from the library. Sounds a lot less expensive.
All this and, of course, the city can sell the current library Fourth Street property (and city hall, too, for that matter) and reap new homes and new taxpayers.
We suggest a very practical and realistic approach to this 'problem' by incorporating the WEB into the life of the city. There is no solution without trade-offs and we need to think carefully about making use of resources we already have before closing up useful businesses that support the city with their tax dollars and offer services that citizens use.
Pam and Paul Hooper are residents of Lake Oswego.