However, any type of construction will have to wait for passage of the referendum, tentatively set for Nov. 5.
The library's Board of Directors will meet tonight (Thursday) to discuss the referendum's wording and will present it to the Parkland School Board on Tuesday, Aug. 27.
Siebert said the referendum will carry a tax increase of .2978 mills, translating to an additional $29 tax per household for every $100,000 of assessed value. If passed, the new library tax will generate between $2.1 million and $2.2 million per year.
The estimated cost of the new library is $13 million, Siebert said. The library must have the school board, a taxing authority, pass a resolution and then garner more than 870 petition signatures by Sept. 6 before a referendum can be placed on the November ballot.
School directors were adamant earlier this week that the tax should "sunset" and that the capital needs of the library be addressed in any referendum.
"The sunset part is a conversation we'll have over the next few days," Siebert said. "It could be something we could all live with." Siebert said the board will try again in May should November's referendum fail.
Siebert said the new library is planned at 30,000 square feet, five times more than the 5,500 square feet of the current South Whitehall facility.
Siebert said the amenities include:
- Children's areas
- A community room for more than 100 people
- A cafe
- A periodical area
- A reading garden with benches
- A community history room
- A young adults area
- Tutoring rooms
Siebert said the board plans to keep the current library site -- at 4422 Walbert Ave. in South Whitehall -- open with reduced hours and reduced staff.
"In the long term, we'll look for other things we can do. We have 72 square miles of area to cover and that's more difficult to serve," he said.
The Parkland Community Library serves residents of Upper Macungie Township, North Whitehall Township, South Whitehall Township and a portion of Allentown that is in the Parkland School District.
Siebert appeared before the Upper Macungie Planning Commission Wednesday night to get a lot consolidation plan and a subdivision plan approved. Traffic and crosswalk issues will be addressed at a later time.
The library is leasing the land from Upper Macungie Township for $1.