Riverside County supervisors Tuesday tentatively authorized a partnership with a developer for the construction of three new library branches.
Supervisor Chuck Washington has been seeking to add to the Riverside County Library System since the start of his second term, and with the help of the Economic Development Agency, a public-private partnership was arranged to bring the concept to fruition.
The Board of Supervisors reviewed details regarding the proposed partnership with Laguna Hills-based real estate developer Omni West Group Inc. and directed the Executive Office to bring the matter back for a public hearing in May.
Under the Washington-EDA plan, vacant county-owned properties would be utilized for construction of the libraries.
The supervisor envisions a 15,000-square-foot branch at Palm Drive and Park Lane in Desert Hot Springs, replacing the 3,527-square-foot repository at 11691 West Drive.
In Menifee, the supervisor and EDA are recommending construction of a 20,000-square-foot library at La Piedra and Menifee roads to complement smaller branches at 26001 Briggs Road and 26982 Cherry Hills Road.
The largest of the three facilities would be in French Valley, where a 25,000-square-foot library is planned at Skyview and Winchester roads.
According to Washington, the area, which is close to his home, currently has no library services for locals.
“The addition of these new library facilities will provide a destination for learning, discovery and collaboration, and will have a positive impact on library patrons in the communities they will serve,” the supervisor said.
There are presently 36 library branches countywide, and the libraries provide mobile service in some cases, consisting of vehicles loaded with books visiting outlying locations.
Under the public-private partnership with Omni West, the county and developer would form a nonprofit limited liability company, CFP Riverside, specifically for the purpose of assuming obligations tied to construction of the libraries, according to EDA documents.
CFP would become the proprietor of all three buildings, which would be paid for using lease revenue bonds. After the buildings are ready for occupancy, CFP would lease the properties to the county, and the proceeds from the rentals would amortize the bonds.
After the IOUs are retired, the county would become the owner of the properties.
An estimate on the full cost to construct the libraries is expected to be provided at the hearing next month.
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