Port Orchard Library renews agreement with city

The city of Port Orchard has revised its agreement with the Port Orchard Library, updating a document that was last revised in 1964.

“We’re in the process of updating all of our agreements with landowners,” said Kitsap Regional Libraries Director of Technology and Facilities Susan Whitford. “We want to make the buildings welcoming and relevant to the needs of our patrons.”

Along with Port Orchard, KRL is updating its agreements with all its libraries except Silverdale and Sylvan Way, where KRL owns the building.

In all other cases, the library supplies goods, services and staffing while the host pays for facilities and maintenance.

The money spent by the city, which includes landscaping and utilities, represents a worthwhile investment because library services benefit the quality of life, according to the motion passed by the Port Orchard City Council on May 12.

Both the 1964 and 2009 agreements spell out these terms, although the newer iteration goes into greater detail about structural changes and insurance.

When the earlier agreement was signed the library occupied a building on Prospect Street, which now houses the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office.

The library moved to its current location in the early 1980s, into a building that was once a post office.

In recent years the building has deteriorated as library needs have increased, leading to the development of a proposal to build a municipal building that will host a new library. Coincidentally, that building is planned for Prospect Street, and the former library quarters will likely be demolished to make room for the new structure.

One difference in the two agreements covers its termination.

In 1964, either party was required to give the other a 90 day notice in order to break the lease.

The new agreement requires either 30 or 60 days, depending on whether “cause” is to be invoked.

There is no schedule for the construction of the new library, but the most optimistic projections estimate that it will be at least three to five years before completion.

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