By a unanimous 6-0 vote Monday night, the Falls Church City Council resolved to place a bond referendum on the November 2016 general election ballot that will ask voters of Falls Church to decide whether or not they favor an expenditure not to exceed $8.7 million for the expansion and renovate of the Mary Riley Styles Public Library. The proposed expansion and renovation would add 14,500 square feet to the existing 18,500 square foot facility and to bring it into compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
The $8.7 million price tag is half of what the Library Board of Trustees initially sought,for the project, which would be the first significant improvement to the popular library since 1992, but Trustees members present last night were strongly in favor of the move. If approved by the voters in November, the design work would begin in the next fiscal year, and the improvements made in Fiscal Year 2019.
The action followed a town hall meeting held last week in which 36 citizens attended to hear the parameters of the proposed project. It was noted last night that whereas the City cannot take sides on the issue officially, there the Library Board and other civic groups would be tasked with providing factual materials to inform the public over the next few months. “My vote for this tonight is easy. The hard work now follows,” said Vice Mayor Marybeth Connelly. The vote was unanimous with Council member Dan Sze not present.