Ames voters will be voting on an $18 million bond referendum for the public library on Tuesday.

The referendum will be one of two on the ballot.

The City Council and Ames Library Board have been debating the future of the library for more than two years.

In 2009 the groups started discussing if a new library was necessary, if the library should be expanded or if the existing library should be renovated, along with fundraising issues.

On Aug. 23 Art Weeks, library director, gave a presentation on the library expansion/renovation proposal.

Weeks said the city held 22 public forums. Over 800 people joined in the forums and more than 400 registered voters gave their input via telephone surveys.

According to the minutes of the meeting, Weeks said some recurring comments were "to keep the library downtown at its current location, maintain the historic structures, keep projects cost at a reasonable level and do so in a manner so as not to drive up operation costs."

He announced the end result of the project would be 77,000 square foot project totaling $20 million and a bond referendum would need to be included in the next election cycle.

According to the minutes, he said $2 million in philanthropic donations is included in the $20 million, bringing the amount of the bond referendum down to $18 million.

A unanimous vote on adding the referendum to Tuesday's ballot took place at the City's Sept. 13 meeting.

The other referendum will be on the possible expansion of Mary Greeley Medical Center.

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