Library Bond Election 2020

ELECTION UPDATE: In the May 2020 Election for the McCall Public Library Bond, the initiative failed to pass with a super-majority but saw overall favor with the community. Read more:

TOUR - Tour the Proposed Library Expansion

Take a tour through the design concepts of the proposed McCall Public Library Expansion. In this 5 minute guided tour you will see the plans for the improved facility should the bond measure pass with voters by a supermajority. The election runs May 19 to June 2 by absentee vote only. Learn more at

Link to the tour:


On February 27, 2020, after many years of development,research and community feedback, McCall City Council adopted an ordinance calling for a General Obligation Bond Election on May 19th, 2020, to provide financing for the Library Expansion Project. The council is asking for the public to vote on a bond amount, not to exceed $6.2 million dollars, which is less than the estimated project cost of $8.2 million dollars. The bond of $6.2 million counts on $2 million in cash, grants and pledges toward the project therefore asking the public to approve the difference. If approved, the bond amount would be used for the purpose of preparing, constructing, renovating, and furnishing the City’s existing library facilities and the related relocation of the storage and office facilities of the City’s Parks Department. 


The McCall Public Library, owned and staffed by City of McCall, has changed very little since 1972 while McCall’s population has nearly doubled. Circulation at the library is up 82% in the past 13 years and library program attendance has increased at the same time. The library offers a variety of programming for our community. Everything from travelogues and sewing classes to book clubs and movies. Although books are at the core of the McCall Public Library's mission, the library is an integral part of the community in many other ways. The library is one of the few locations in the area that offers free community meeting space to many nonprofits, businesses and city staff. Their success relies on the Library to host meetings, gather, present and serve the community. Many members of the workforce consider the library a critical resource for job seeking, furthering their education, and as a resource for the youth.

In July of 2016, library staff, civic leaders, local schools, related nonprofits, and a wide selection of the public, met to discuss opportunities for a library design that would reflect the community’s wants and needs. Consultants evaluated the existing facility and its program needs for the next 20 years and recommended the current library be expanded to at least 12,000 to 15,000 square feet. Then, on November 3rd, 2016, the McCall City Council approved the options as recommended by the library board and expansion committee. The new design would renovate the existing 4,200 square foot space, adding a new 12,000 square foot building to include adult, youth and children’s libraries along with increased meeting space, new City Council Chambers in the form of Citizens hall, mixed office space and improved parking.

The entire project cost is anticipated at $8.2 million dollars, including the Parks Department to the Central Idaho Historic Museum site, as the new library footprint includes the current parks department building as outlined in the library construction site plan. In February 2020, McCall City Council voted to take the new library initiative to the voters in the form of an election question asking for the approval to bond for $6.2 million dollars. That total reflects $2 million dollars in city funds, contributions, pledges and grants earmarked for the project.  


Why is the Library Expansion Needed?

The city cannot fund the capital needed for a project of this magnitude with cash on-hand, so more fiscally responsible options such as bonds are considered. 

The Library building has changed very little since 1972, while McCall’s population has nearly doubled. The current building and substandard parking lot struggles to provide adequate safety standards as well as meet mandated ADA (Americans with Disability Act) requirements. In addition to safety standards, consultants have evaluated the McCall Public Library and come to a number of conclusions regarding its capability to serve a community of our size and activity.  

What Benefits Would the Library Expansion Provide?

If the library expansion bond passed it would:

  • Bring the library up to mandated accessibility standards required by the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)

  • Create a variety of small and large free public meeting spaces and reduce overcrowding during events

  • Allow for a Citizens Hall that would be available for public meeting space as well as serve as a City Council Chambers

  • Host a storefront for Recreational programming and equipment rental.

  • Enable increased program opportunities for adults and children

  • Increase ability to host traveling exhibits

  • Improve technology accessibility for patrons

  • Create a dedicated youth area and teen tween gathering space

  • Build a library to serve us into the future.

Why can't we use a vacant building in town or other already built facility?

All options were evaluated for an expanded improved Library. Existing buildings were evaluated based on guiding documents, costs of remodeling, square footage and ADA requirement capabilities.Also factored in was the need for the investment to last well into the future of McCall's growth. Adding to the existing building was the most cost effective choice.

More on the Labor Building: Response to Idaho Job Services Building as a Library.pdf

How would the library and its services be affected if the bond did not pass with a super majority vote?

  • McCall Public Library would remain in an outdated, inefficient building that is costly to maintain for the local taxpayer.

  • Non-compliant (ADA) interior spaces, and dangerous exterior. 

  • Restricted access for pedestrians, bikers, elderly, children and disabled patrons.

  • Limited materials and crowded book selection.

  • Making difficult choices about the collection. For example, adding new books or materials would require discarding current ones, so library users will have more limited choices.

  • Children and families will be turned away from Story times, Summer Reading, and after school enrichment due to overcrowding.

  • Our community will have no quiet study/workspace available at no charge.

  • There will be no free community meeting space that can accommodate 12+ people.

  • Access to Makerspace technology will be extremely limited and sometimes not available to students, entrepreneurs, educators and the curious of all ages.

  • The people of McCall area will lose opportunities for cultural events and exhibits.

  • There will be no shared community resource space for businesses and non-profits.

  • Citizens and visitors lose the chance to access a variety of resources, information and programs in one location.

  • The Library spaces will continue to be over-burdened and unable to truly fulfill their varied, important purposes.

What would an expanded library look like? 

The expanded library designs and layouts
can be seen on the design page. 

Click above to enlarge


What is the Total Cost of the Project?

The total cost of the Project is available in the
cost estimate as prepared by CM Company,Inc.
The total cost included everything from
the construction costs and design
fees to street improvements and parking.

Project Cost Breakdown

Click image to enlarge

What is a Bond?

A bond is a loan to a company or government for a pre-determined use, which is then paid back with interest over an agreed upon time frame.

Why Does the City Issue Bonds to Pay for City Projects Rather Than Pay for Projects with Cash?

The city cannot fund the capital needed for a project of this magnitude with cash on-hand, so more fiscally responsible options are considered.

What is the Library Expansion Bond?

The entire project cost is anticipated at $8.2 million dollars and will include the added need to relocate the parks Department to the McCall Museum site, as the project will demolish their current office as outlined in the library construction site plan. In February 2020, McCall City Council voted to take the new library initiative to the voters in the form of an election question asking for the approval to bond for $6.2 million dollars. That total reflecting 2 million dollars in city funds, contributions, pledges and grants earmarked for the project.  

Does This Mean I’ll be Paying Additional Taxes?

Yes, if approved, the Library Expansion Bond would be paid off in 20 years by McCall property owners. 

How much will I pay?

Since the McCall City Council chose a $6.2 Million dollar bond option over 20 years, property owners would expect to pay approximately $27.51 for every $100k of taxable value. Use the calculator below to enter your taxable value (remember to account for a Homeowner's Exemption if you have one) and below it will show the amount you would expect to pay each year for a library expansion bond. 

What are the Authorized Uses of Bond Funds?

All proceeds collected by the Library Expansion Bond are allocated to specific projects identified in the official bond statement.

Don’t My Tax Dollars Already Cover These Needs?

Your current property taxes cover the costs of daily maintenance and operations, but do not cover capital improvement costs. They also contribute to your city’s police department, winter snow plowing and other essential services.

How Will This Library Expansion Bond be Paid Off, and How Long Would It Be in Effect?

The bond will be paid-off within 20 years from inception through a special millage included on your annual tax bill. 

Is the City Eligible for State or Federal Funding for the Projects?

The city is consistently looking for grant opportunities for all city projects and  to date has received, $300,000 in local and state grant entities toward the McCall Public Library Expansion. Staff continues to pursue grant opportunities throughout the project timeline. 

What's Next

If the Library Expansion Bond Passes, When Would Construction Expect to Begin?

The McCall Public Library Construction is a multi-phased project. With each phase of the plan city services and buildings will remain open. The first phase of the project, the Parks Shop relocation would begin in 2020 with the new library construction phase beginning in 2021. 

For Review

McCall Library Presentation to Council

McCall Library-City Council Special Session

McCall Library Expansion Project Estimate

McCall Civic Campus Master Plan

Election Ordinance

Parks Relocation

More on the Parks Facility Move


How Will I Know Bond Projects are Being Completed and Funds are Being Used Properly?

The City will have a section on its website dedicated to showcasing project progress.


How Can I Find Election information?


Who Do I Contact if I Have a Question or Comment About the Library Expansion Bond? 

For questions, suggestions or feedback regarding this initiative, please contact the Communications Manager at (208) 634-8966, or the McCall Public Library at (208) 634-5522. 

Have questions about the Library we aren't answering? Let Us Know!