City Council approves purchase of former drugstore for relocation of Elk Grove Library

The former site of a Rite Aid store will be the new location of the Elk Grove Library. |  

At their regular meeting last night, the Elk Grove City Council approved by a  5 - 0 vote to purchase a former drug store and to relocate one of two libraries in Elk Grove. 

The purchase of the former Rite-Aid store on Elk Grove Blvd. and Waterman Road will facilitate the relocation of the existing facilities on Elk Grove Blvd. and Elk Grove-Florin Road. The city council approved $3 million for the purchase, and it will be financed by the issuance of bonds.

The new facility will replace the library that opened in December 2008. Since its opening, that two-story facility has been plagued by structural problems, traffic flow, and inadequate parking.

The existing library has 45 parking spaces and is 13,875 square feet, and the new facility is 17,340 square feet with 95 parking spots. The new facility is on 2.73 acres and can facilitate expansion. 

During public comment, five speakers spoke in favor of relocating to the larger facility. One speaker said while the larger facility will have significant advantages, he said he preferred having to located closer to a school.

Plans for the current library were approved by the Elk Grove City Council in 2006. The city will attempt to sell that facility once the move is completed. 

While the city will own the property and be responsible for major maintenance, the facility will be operated by the Sacramento Sacramento Public Library Authority. A city study has determined that a larger facility is needed, and another future structure at the District56 civic center is possible. 

During city council deliberations Councilmember Pat Hume, the longest current serving representative, emphasized that none of the present councilmembers, including himself, were on the council when the current library was approved. He also implied plans for the original library were rushed.

"I think it was [public speaker] Paul Lindsay who brought up the original purchase of the current building, which was not a decision made by anybody on the Dias currently or in staff," Hume said. "I think it was ill-advised, it was rushed through for political reasons." 

The December 2008 grand opening of the current library facility. 

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Eye on Elk Grove said...

I wonder if Pat Hume remembers what happened with the developer and community members when this agenda item came before the Elk Grove City Council? Does he remember how the "usual suspects" stood up for his reputation against the allegation of his vote being "in the bag?" The one community member who should be recognized for "fighting the good fight" regarding this building when it becomes a library is the late Sarah Johnson.

D.J. Blutarsky said...

So the closed session agenda shows the City negotiating to buy four parcels and then just bought the Rite-Aid parcel. That will just about covers the whole block between Webb Street and Waterman the taxpayers will own! That florist shop stands in the way of owning the entire block, so let's write a check for that too!

If the market supported development of those lots, they would have been developed already. Why is it the City tries to act like the Federal Reserve and tries to pump money into the economy? At least the Federal Reserve is comprised of economists. Our City Council is made up of laypersons who are elected based on endorsements and how much moneyt they have raised. Oh, I forgot, there is an MBA student on the Council--maybe he can do his thesis on what happens when government tries to act like the private sector!

The City pays top dollar for its properties because it fails to conceal its deep-pocketed identity when negotiating; then hires a market feasibility consultant to hopefully figure out what will fly (definetely not a soccer stadium or ice rink!); sells to a favored developer at a deep discount (i.e. loss. How do you translate that to Greek?); who in turn gains an unfair market advantage by offering leases below market rate; and then colludes with the lessee to convince the City that they need more incentives or they won't come (i.e. Costco).

There, most of his MBA thesis is done!

KLev said...

I was hoping to see a responsible store like Trader Joe’s there. With the homes surrounding the area (and more being built at alarming speed) one grocery store isn’t enough. I understand the difficulty with the structure of the current library as well as the parking issues... once again our council failed to see their error in planning that one... however, the current location of the library is very convenient to the several schools nearby. The Rite Aid location does not provide easy access to the kids who want to go to the library after school (when they get to go again, that is). I am not pleased with our council and agree with DJs “MBA thesis” ;D

Randy Bekker said...

Everyone wants their favorite stores or markets which the city has very little to do with them expanding. Most don’t know the fight over those 4 corners at Waterman an Elk Grove blvd in a bidding war between major grocery stores an the limited size they were going to have to build. Ultimately Safeway back out of the area as we ended with just Belair. Belair promised not to close the original Elk Grove Belair market which they did years later after differences with the land lord. Drug stores open an close buy up each other close locations an expand in others areas. The east side is under developed to have so much retail options. The move of the library into the old Rite Aid will serve the community better as our city has grown with the library at Franklin high school an a purposed library at District 56 in the coming years will give the city residents locations spread out in the central part of the city. The current library location has been a problem from the beginning an it continues even today. As far as kids getting to the library they seem to get around town for other things so a mile east they will find their way there. The parking will be better an there is room for further expansion if needed. In the end the community will have a better library to serve them, the Rite Aid building will not be empty problem for the surrounding area an the old library location will serve the community well as it is a great location for all kinds of businesses.

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