The Press Newspaper
Library board OKs placing levy on ballot
The board voted last week to begin the process for placing a 1.1-mill, 5-year levy on the ballot – the first time in the library’s history it is asking for local property tax revenues, said Georgina Huizenga, library director.
If approved by voters, the issue would generate about $250,000 a year, she said, and would be used to restore cuts in the library’s operating hours, buy more materials, and replace the position of early childhood services coordinator.
Residents in the library’s service area, which includes Allen and Clay townships and all of Harris Township except for a portion in the Benton-Carroll-Salem School District, would vote on the issue.
The library has a branch in Genoa.
Due to cuts in state funding, the hours at both buildings were reduced – from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday to 12:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday hours were reduced to 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., three hours earlier than prior to the cuts. Friday hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wages were also frozen and hours for part-time staffers were reduced. Salaried employees were paid for 36 hours instead of 40 and were required to pay for half of the health insurance premiums.
Huizenga said the budget for purchasing materials was also cut in half and the coordinator position wasn’t filled when the woman who held the position left to open a family business.
Placing the ballot issue before voters will also require certification by the Ottawa County auditor’s office and approval by the Woodmore school board, which is the library’s taxing authority, she said.
If passed, it will establish a program to make available a lapel pin to the children for them to display to honor their parents’ service.
The pins would be purchased by the recipients.
The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Armed Services.
Rep. Murray holds open office hours regularly at different locations throughout his district. Constituents are welcome to come and meet with Rep. Murray to talk about any issues.
Rep. Murray is holding the event in the library from 6-7:30 p.m.
His district includes all of Erie County and most of Ottawa County.