Many of the current issues surrounding the service agreement (and the choice to not have one) between the BCLD and IFPL can be confusing without understanding how libraries are funded in this area.
Residents of Idaho Falls includes just those residents paying Idaho Falls property taxes in the municipality of Idaho Falls.
Residents of the Bonneville County Library District includes everyone in Bonneville County EXCEPT residents of the municipality of Idaho Falls. So the county district includes Ammon, Iona, Ucon, Irwin, Swan Valley, and part of Rire. County residents are those who are paying property taxes to Bonneville County.
Idaho Falls City owns the IFPL and it is funded through property taxes paid by Idaho Falls city residents. Because county residents chose not to be part of the original library area and help with funding 70 years ago, county residents were not paying into library services, and therefore did not receive them.
To remedy this, the BCLD was created in 1980 to collect a set household fee (paid through the homeowners’ county tax bill), which was then used to purchase services at IFPL through a service agreement or contract.
Now that Bonneville County has grown to have a nearly equal population as Idaho Falls means that their rate of service through IFPL is too expensive to sustain. We believe that equally-sized entities should have autonomy and the choice to make decisions on what is best for their particular residents.
During the service agreement, county household fees were paid to the BCLD, who then paid for library services through IFPL. Idaho Falls city residents paying property taxes to Idaho Falls city, also paid for services at IFPL.
Without a service agreement, Idaho Falls city residents will continue to pay for IFPL services through property taxes. County residents will continue to pay a household fee to the BCLD, which will now run a county library system independently of IFPL. Idaho Falls residents will not be paying for the county libraries, and county residents will not be paying for the Idaho Falls library.