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Winlock approves annexation agreement with TRL

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The Winlock City Council has approved an annexation agreement with the Timberland Regional Library District in preparation for presenting annexation to voters during the November Election.

Approved during the council’s May 12 meeting, the agreement, which was passed unanimously, defines the terms by which funding obligations for the library would transfer from the city to local property owners, if annexation into the district should pass.

According to a 1969 agreement, the city currently pays the standard millage rate for library services factored with local property values, which last year totaled $30,188. Mayor Lonnie J. Dowell said, if Winlock did not have to pay this fee, the city could use the funding for other projects such as infrastructure maintenance and grant matching, but added Winlock is willing to uphold its commitment to help fund the library if annexation does not pass, and is not interested in closing down the library.

If voters approve annexation, a library-specific property tax would be imposed at $0.415 for every $1,000 of assessed value, starting in 2016. Annexation was also considered by the council in the early part of last year, but officials at that time declined to approve an annexation agreement in light of local attitudes toward higher tax rates.

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