Zionsville council OKs up to $9M in bonds for new library branch in Whitestown

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The Zionsville Town Council has approved up to $9 million in bonds for a new library branch to be built in Whitestown. (Image courtesy Town of Whitestown)

The Zionsville Town Council has approved the issuance of up to $9 million in bonds to pay for a new branch of the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library to be built in Whitestown.

Construction on the $9 million project is expected to start in October so that the library’s new branch can open in the fourth quarter of 2022.

“I’m not just excited about the possibility of having another branch to increase the amount of things you do currently. I’m excited about what additional opportunities you’re going to be able to offer there,” Zionsville Town Council Member Alexander Choi said last week after voting to approve the funding resolution. “I know the price tag is high, but we’ve grown by so much. I think this is a necessary next step for us.”

The resolution passed by a 5-1 vote, with the only opposing vote coming from council member Brad Burk.

The Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library is a 16,000-square-foot library at 250 N. Fifth St. in Zionsville that traditionally has served Boone County’s Eagle and Union townships. In August 2020, it added neighboring Worth Township, which contains the town of Whitestown.

To address the demand for expanded programming and meeting space, the library began planning to build the estimated 23,000-square-foot branch on 11 acres at 6310 Albert S. White Drive in Whitestown.

In May, the Whitestown Town Council gifted the library the 11-acre wooded property so that it could be redeveloped for the new location.

Several Zionsville residents spoke during last week’s meeting to question why they should pay taxes for a library in another town.

Sarah Moore, the library’s executive director, said the bonds needed to be approved by the Zionsville Town Council because more than half of the net assessed property value of the homes in the library’s service area are within Zionsville town limits.

Choosing to locate the new branch in Whitestown provides better continuity in service for those Whitestown and west Zionsville residents, she said, and it takes advantage of an available piece of land gifted to the library.

The new branch will be available to residents of all three townships—regardless of whether they live in Whitestown or Zionsville.

“This is a very convenient location for all of that growth out in that direction,” Moore said. “Everyone in the service district is paying for a new location that will offer more services, more capacity for programs and benefit the entire community.”

Eagle and Union township residents currently pay a property tax rate of $0.0159 per $100 of assessed value for library service. They will continue to do so in 2023, when the library’s old debt falls off the town’s books and the new bond debt comes on.

Worth Townships residents will join them in 2023, paying the same rate.

Under the property tax rate, residents with homes valued at around $200,000 can expect to pay roughly $15 per year.

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