London Library will return to ballot


London Public Library will be on the ballot Nov. 6. This time, the request is simply for replacement of an existing operating levy for current expenses. The issue does not ask for millage for new construction, as did two previous ballot requests.

"As I said in the spring when the levy failed a second time, we were disappointed but the community politely told us ‘no’ twice," said library Director Gary Branson. "We want to continue operating like we are for the time being. Any construction is on hold."

The issue destined for the Nov. 6 ballot is a replacement of the library’s 2.1-mill levy for another five years. The levy covers current expenses, such as outreach to homebound patrons, material purchases, staffing and technology.

If passed, the replacement would bring the levy in line with current property valuations and generate approximately $357,540 per year for the next five years.

"We’ll be gaining about $60,000 a year, which is less than 10 percent of our overall budget. It’s not a big increase, but it is needed to help maintain our services and keep up with inflation," Branson said.

The levy’s cost to the owner of a home valued at $100,000 would be $36.75 per year-about $8 more per year than taxpayers are paying now, according to the Madison County Auditor’s Office.

"We can’t afford not to pass the 2.1-mills," said Branson. For example, the levy’s money covers 75 percent of the library’s budget for material purchases.

"We’re busier than ever. We likely will end up with 200,000 items circulated this year," he said.

When the 2.1-mill levy was originally passed five years ago, the library was circulating 127,000 items.

"We love being part of the community and appreciate the support of the community," Branson said. "We always like input on what people want from their library."

For more information about the levy or the library’s services, call 740-852-9543.

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