A majority of Boulder City Councilmembers told city officials on Thursday, Sept. 14, that they want to lease — rather than sell or transfer — the city’s library buildings to the newly formed library district that was approved in a 2022 ballot measure, bucking the recommendations of city staff. One of their concerns was giving up such valuable land.

What to do with the city’s library buildings is a key part of the city’s intergovernmental agreement with the trustees overseeing the new Boulder Public Library District. The trustees and city officials wanted the city to transfer ownership of its libraries to the district, in part to help it finance library projects and plan over the long term.

But councilmembers suggested instead that the city lease the buildings to the district for up to 30 years — which is longer than a typical city lease — while giving the district the option to terminate the lease every five years.

The feedback from city council is designed to help the city’s attorneys negotiate an agreement with the library district’s Board of Trustees. Deputy City Manager Chris Meschuk said at the meeting on Sept. 14 that the city’s agreement with the district could be signed in the next month. Another agreement that also involves Boulder County commissioners is in the works too.

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