The Numbers for the New Billings Library Don’t Add Up
As you know, the Flakes do their best to keep you informed about current events in and around Billings. The big story this week has been the opening of the new $18 million public library. According to an article in the Gazette, officials expect a 30% increase in the number of library visitors. According to Mark and Paul, those numbers just don't add up.
A 30% increase in attendance would mean somewhere around 300,000 library visitors each year. That works out to over 822* people per day. The entire population of Billings is just over 100,000 [Editors Note: edited number to reflect correct math]. Which means nearly *0.822%of our city's residents will be going to the new library every day [Editors Note: edited number to reflect correct math].
Assuming that happens, where will they park? According to their own projections, the library will need approximately 1,500 parking spaces every hour. Have you ever been to a concert at Metra Park? They don't even have enough space to accommodate parking for 10,000 people.
Also keep in mind, the library closes at 7 pm on Monday through Thursday. If you're a hard working tax payer, that gives you 2 hours every day to enjoy our brand new library. Remember when the library proponents touted the educational and cultural benefits the new facility will deliver to local students? The library won't even be open when most of them are doing their homework. Which is fine, because they do their research online anyway.
So when you hear library officials trying to justify the $18 million investment the tax payers have made, remember that the numbers don't add up. And numbers don't lie, either.