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Yes for Cornelius Library raises funds


Capital campaign also planned to raise $2.4 million for facility

Just weeks after the Cornelius City Council unanimously approved a $12.8 million building that will house seniors and a new library, supporters have already formed a fundraising group called Yes for Cornelius Library. And a fundraising consultant is helping plan for a capital campaign.

On July 15, councilors approved a contract with the nonprofit Bienestar, which is partnering with the city because the building will include 41 affordable housing units for seniors on the second and third floors, in addition to the library and YMCA gym on the first floor.

One of the next steps is to inform residents about the plan, said Hill, who plans to write up handouts explaining why Cornelius needs the new building, how much it will cost residents and why it’s still a good deal for the city.

Bienestar would cover 65 percent of the cost, but the remaining $4.8 million would be split between city residents and general fundraising.

“It shows we all share the burden,” said Cornelius Library Director Karen Hill.

A $2.4 million bond measure will appear on the November ballot, asking citizens to increase property taxes by 29 cents per $1,000 as part of a 20-year construction bond.

In December 2012 a feasibility study found that 71 percent of Cornelius voters were likely to approve a bond for independent senior housing.

On February 4, more than 100 people showed up at a city council meeting to show support, Hill said.

“There is evidence that having a full service library makes the neighborhood more livable.”

During the planning process, Hill is looking at ways to be both sustainable and thrifty.

She wants as many Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design qualifications for the building as possible — without actually being LEED certified.

“It costs money to test and ensure certification every year. We will pick the qualifications that are in reach and do them without the certification.”

There are 50 to 60 qualifications to be Gold-certified and Hill said if the option is viable and in budget, they’ll do it.

“A rain garden is easy,” said Hill. “Saving 50 percent on electric usage isn’t.”

Hill, a contractor and an architect went through the LEED checklist last week. One goal is to plant native Washington County plants and collect rainwater to water them.

Roof color can also earn LEED points. White roofs, for example, reflect heat, compared to dark roofs, which overheat buildings, requiring more air conditioning.