Chandler’s $451 million bond package
going to voters on May 15
includes $10.5 million to buy and
refurbish the city’s popular Sunset
Library in the Kyrene Corridor.
Many residents may not know it, but the
city has leased the 22,000-square-foot
library since it opened in early 2000.
The building is owned by Paragon
Building Development, a California
company that developed the
125,000-square-foot retail center
on Ray Road, just east of Rural Road.
Chandler expects to pay almost a half-million dollars on that lease
in the 2007-08 fiscal year, according to
Brenda Brown, Chandler’s library
“We’re paying about $40,000 a month. In
the next budget year, we’ll be paying
$474,713,” she said.
That made financial sense almost a
decade ago when the city agreed to lease
the building from Paragon Building
Development, Brown said. But city
officials had the foresight to write
into the lease an option to buy the
building for fair market value after 10
years, she noted.
Chandler hasn’t had the building officially appraised, but city
financial planners have asked Chandler
voters to approve $9.5 million in
municipal general obligation bonds to
purchase the building and another $1
million to install a new roof, new
heating and cooling systems and other
It’s the biggest part of the proposed
$451 million bond package directly tied
to west Chandler.
“The (Sunset Library) lease was written
in such a way that we have the option to
purchase the facility at market value.
That’s coming up in fiscal year
2009-2010,” Brown said.
“The library is a cultural service for
our citizens in west Chandler,” she
“More than 1,100 people visit that
library every day. During the last
fiscal year, citizens checked out
525,000 items—that includes books, DVDs,
audio books, and other materials.”
Sunset Library is open Monday through
Saturday, but library officials are
seeking funding in 2007-08 to add Sunday
hours, according to Brown.
The staff of 16 is kept busy, she said.
Sunset Library has only one-third of the
space of the city’s downtown library but
does two-thirds of the business,
according to Brown.
Besides the usual collection of books
and recorded materials, Sunset Library
offers 66 public-access computers, four
study rooms, a 75-seat meeting room and
plenty of parking because it is located
in a retail center, she said.
Purchasing the building—Chandler already
owns the furnishings—gives the city
options for Sunset Library’s future,
“It’s a great little library. This gives
us the potential for expansion.”
Chandler last asked its voters for bond
authorization in 2004.
The $415 million bond proposal is heavy
on street and highway projects (202.3
million) and water and sewer projects
($107.8 million) and includes a hefty
amount for parks and recreation ($81.3
million) In total, there are ten
questions on the bond ballot for a total
The bonds, if approved by voters, are
expected to be sold over the next three
years and repaid over approximately 15
years. City officials say the bond
package will not increase the city’s
property tax rate.
Former Chandler Management Services
Director Pat Walker, in a Jan.10 memo to
the City Council, wrote that, “the
proposed bond election will not increase
the $.87 (secondary) property tax rate.”
While Sunset Library is the largest
single project for the Kyrene Corridor,
Chandler officials note that much of the
bond money will be spent on public
facilities enjoyed by all residents.
That includes the Chandler Center for
the Arts ($4.1 million), the downtown
Senior Center ($1.4 million), the Museum
($4.3 million) and the Boys & Girls Club
The proposed $1.1 million for aquatic
facilities includes $46,500 for
improvements to the West Chandler Pool,
and the streets program includes $1
million for improvements to the Ray
Road-McClintock Drive intersection.
Every Chandler household with a
registered voter will receive an
“Information Pamphlet and Sample Ballot”
in the mail in early April. Early voting
starts April 12. The last date to
register to vote in the Special Bond
Election is April 16.