Mayor cheers Council votes to fund aquatics center, library expansion planning in Sacramento neighborhoods
The Sacramento City Council Tuesday voted to spend $14.4 million on a new aquatics center and community center complex in North Natomas while moving ahead on plans to revamp libraries in north Sacramento and Meadowview.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg said the aquatics center will be a “citywide amenity” that will be open to the public, not just residents of Natomas. He had pushed to have the library projects brought before the council at the same time.
“Fourteen million is a big city commitment, and I’m fully committed to making the same magnitude of investments in all your (Council) districts, as well as with a specific focus on neighborhoods that have been left behind for decades,” Mayor Steinberg said. “That’s why it’s not coincidental that the two library projects are on the same agenda. “
Measure U, passed after a campaign led by Mayor Steinberg, provides about $50 million a year for new city expenditures, and the mayor recently won a council commitment that about $40 million a year should be spent on projects that create jobs, build affordable housing and lift disadvantaged neighborhoods.
The aquatics center is expected to cost a total of $45 million. Other major funding sources include developer fees paid in North Natomas and by the Natomas Unified School District.
Construction is expected to start in September.
The library projects are further off because they are in the early planning stages.
MLK Library needs room to grow
Council voted Tuesday to spend $30,000 to begin planning the renovation of Meadowview’s Martin Luther King Jr. Library, which opened in 1970 and was last updated in 2000. Many of the library’s systems are past their useful life, and the facility needs more open interior space to handle 7,000-10,000 visits it receives each month and programs that include STEM learning, homework tutoring and cooking demonstrations. Renovating the facility is expected to cost between $4 million and $5.5 million.
North Sacramento library needs new home
North Sacramento’s library currently occupies rented space, and the lease is set to expire in March. The City and the Library have found a former Bank of America building to lease, located at 1830 Del Paso Blvd., which has been vacant for years. The building will require extensive updating to be made suitable for a library.
Council voted Tuesday to allocate $45,000 for preliminary work on the project, which is expected to cost between $5 million and $7 million.