County, Gladstone agree on library settlement

Date

Signing ceremony set for Monday

At this morning’s weekly Business Meeting, Clackamas County Commissioners unanimously agreed to a proposed settlement that provides a path forward toward a comprehensive library solution for the city of Gladstone and the unincorporated Oak Grove/Jennings Lodge area. This action follows the Gladstone City Council’s unanimous approval of the settlement earlier this week.

The city and county had been involved in a legal dispute since August 2016 over funding for construction of a library in Gladstone. This settlement agreement resolves that lawsuit. 

Key points of the settlement include:

  • A proposed two building, one library solution (branches in Gladstone and the Oak Grove/Jennings Lodge area) managed by Clackamas County and modeled after Sandy’s two-branch library system.
  • The facilities will provide an estimated 25,500 sq. ft. of new library space using existing library revenues and reserves (approximately 19,500 sq. ft. for Oak Lodge, and approximately 6,000 sq. ft. for Gladstone).
  • This solution does not impose additional costs to taxpayers for library construction. Capital funding would come from existing library district reserves and a bond measure paid from future revenues, according to estimates.
  • Gladstone agrees to contribute approximately $200,000 per fiscal year to the county for library operations and make available city-owned land for a new library. This may be the current location of Gladstone City Hall, which will be made available following the relocation of city hall.  
  • The concept is a general strategy that has many details to be determined through a robust public involvement process (specifically involving the Oak Lodge Library Board of Trustees, Gladstone Library Advisory Board, and Library District Advisory Committee).

The settlement can be seen on the county’s website at Business Meeting Packet October 12, 2017.

“The city and county are moving forward on a solution that works for all parties,” stated Gladstone City Administrator Jacque Betz. “This is a victory for everyone involved, and the residents of Gladstone should be pleased. This settlement calls for a library that will be a centerpiece of our downtown, and Gladstone residents will not be burdened by additional taxes for its construction.”

“This is a win-win-win solution,” stated Clackamas County Administrator Don Krupp. “Gladstone residents win because they get a new library with no additional taxes for construction. Oak Lodge area residents win because they get a new library three times as big as the current one.

“The county wins because a lawsuit with a constituent city is dropped,” continued Krupp. “This is how governmental conflict should be resolved. I’m especially proud that the settlement specifies a robust public involvement process that will include all relevant parties.”

As part of the settlement, Gladstone has agreed to submit a ballot measure to residents for May 2018 rescinding the current prohibition on using local funds for construction of a library. The county has agreed to submit a ballot measure (if needed) to adjust the existing Library District intergovernmental agreement as necessary to incorporate elements of the plan.

Both the city and county have committed to a comprehensive and collaborative public engagement process in design, scope, location, size, service levels, amenities and other aspects of the projects.

Formalization of the settlement will be celebrated at a joint board/city council signing ceremony this coming Monday, Oct. 16, at 5:30 p.m. at Gladstone City Hall (525 Portland Ave.). Members of the media are welcome to attend.  

For more information, members of the media may contact Public Affairs Manager Tim Heider at theider@clackamas.us or 503-742-5911.