Director of the Portsmouth Public Library, Paige Williams said the library levy on today’s general election ballot the second renewal of a 1 mill levy first passed by voters by some 62 percent in 2010.
Voters approved the first renewal of the levy by some 70 percent five years ago in 2014. Williams said the library board decided to go for a levy in 2010 after state funding was cut by roughly one third in 2009, she said the library was forced to reduce their employees by 17 people almost immediately, cut hours and make other unpopular and uncomfortable budget adjustments.
For the future, Williams noted one big program the system is attempting to take on would help persons with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The program would offer both those suffering from
those conditions as well as their care-givers music and craft programs.
“The main thing is,” Williams said, “is that we ask people to please come in and use their library.”
The following is a fact sheat Williams released in regard to the levy on today’s ballot.
What we’re asking for:
The Library system is asking all Scioto County voters to approve a 5-year renewal of the Library’s one-mill levy. It’s the same levy you have now!
Will my taxes go up if the levy is renewed?
No. Since this is a renewal, your tax stays the same.
What is the tax rate now?
The current library levy costs a homeowner $2.92 monthly if the home is valued at $100,000. There would be NO CHANGE to the amount currently included in your property taxes.
What will you do with the funds should the levy pass?
• Continue to expand library services and digital resources
• Update the HVAC System at the Portsmouth building
• Upgrades to branch buildings
• Continue to expand all collections
• Continue to update technology
What did the Library do with the last levy?
• Expanded the collections
• Extended service hours at all branch locations
• $500,000 repairs to the South Webster Branch and $250,000 for pipe replacement in 1906 Portsmouth Carnegie building
• Increased offsite services via the Outreach Services Department to children and homebound/nursing home patrons
• Digital resources such as hoopla, Tumblebooks and Signing Savvy
•Upgraded technology including Wi-Fi hotspots and special computers for young children
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