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Friends of the Library prepare for annexation election in S'side

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Members of the Friends of the Library group volunteered their time Tuesday night to prepare mailings for the upcoming library annexation election. (L-R) Yakima Valley Regional Library Director Monica Weyhe, as well as committee members Beatrice Villanueva, Bettie and Frank Filicetti, Pat Kezele and Jose A. Villanueva work to ensure each of the mailings has proper postage.

The fate of the Sunnyside library will be decided in a special election set to take place Tuesday, March 9, and a group of volunteers calling themselves the Friends of the Library aren't about to sit idly by and wait to see what the community decides will happen to the annexation proposal.

Tuesday night the group devoted time to ensuring everyone in the community is aware of the upcoming library annexation proposition, getting informational mailings ready to send out to Sunnyside voters.

Bill Flower, one of the volunteers involved in the library group, said there are more than 30 people involved in spreading the word about the upcoming election, including the group's chairman, Pat Kezele.

Tuesday night the volunteers, including community members Jose A. and Beatrice Villanueva, as well as Frank and Bettie Filicetti, gathered at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church to get flyers ready to mail out to Sunnyside voters. The flyers detail information about the library, including details about its history.

The City of Sunnyside currently contracts with the Yakima Valley Regional Library for library services. The upcoming election will determine whether or not the Yakima Valley Regional Library will completely take over the Sunnyside library, not only offering library services, but also taking over day-to-day operations.

Monica Weyhe, director of the Yakima Valley Regional Library, noted if the annexation occurs the regional library will likely put some money into the library's current building, as well as work to purchase more books for the facility.

"It would provide a more stable source of funding," Weyhe said.

The cost to annex the Sunnyside library into the Yakima Valley Regional Library system will be 49.6ยข per $1,000 of assessed valuation, which translates to a cost of roughly $4.13 per month for a $100,000 home. Property owners living within the city will pay the tax directly to the rural library district. Weyhe noted it's important to remember that those people living outside the city limits are already paying this tax.

. Elena Olmstead can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or e-mail her at eolmstead@eaglenewspapers.com

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