Mount Sterling Library on ballot for new funds

On Feb. 28, the Mount Sterling Public Library board of trustees hosted a question and answer session at the Mount Sterling Community Center. The subject was a levy request.

The library is on the March 4 ballot, asking voters to approve a 1-mill, 10-year tax levy for operating expenses. If passed, the levy would generate approximately $165,000 per year. The cost to the owner of a $100,000 home would be about $30 per year.

“What we receive right now from the state, $231,000, is our only revenue,” said Heidi Fletcher, the library’s director. “It’s not enough for salaries, increases in utilities, and the purchase of new materials.”

Due to freezes in funding levels from the state, the library is operating on the same amount of money it did in 2001. To try to make ends meet, the library has trimmed the budget. Most recently, the board decided to close the library on Wednesdays. Previously, the library was open every day except Sunday.

“We still have people coming to the door on Wednesdays. It’s going to take an adjustment period,” Fletcher said. “If the levy passes, we would reinstate Wednes-day hours and the board would reevaluate some of the other cuts they have made.”

The other cuts include elimination of the summer and school-year library page programs and a reduction in purchases of new materials across all categories. If fully implemented, all of the cuts would amount to $30,000 for the year.

The Mount Sterling Library board first placed the levy on the November general election ballot. The issue failed, 711-1,196.  It was the first time the library had gone to the voters since it was established.

For more information about the levy request or Mount Sterling Public Library’s programs, call 740-869-2430 or stop by at 60 W. Columbus St., Mount Sterling. Hours are Monday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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