Voters in Empire, Glen Arbor and Kasson Townships approved our millage proposal by a solid majority, with the measure passing by a vote of 832 to 200. With the approval of this funding, your community library will have reliable operating income through 2021. Thanks to your support, the library will continue to offer the best possible materials, services and programs to our community.
The Glen Lake Community Library has served area residents since 1977, when a group of dedicated volunteers first established a small library just down the street from our current location. Over the years, the library has evolved into a modern, full-service resource, thanks to steady support from the community. In order to maintain our current services, ongoing funding needs to be secured. Our board of trustees has determined that a new millage rate of 0.28 mills will be needed for the next five years. Here are some basic questions and answers about the proposal.
Why is the library asking for continued operating millage support?
The library has been supported by a property tax approved in 1996 for a period of 20 years. This assessment has now come to an end, and will fund the library only through the end of this year. The originally approved rate of 0.25 mills has decreased to 0.1901 mills over the years, due to Michigan state law. This has limited operating income, while at that same time expenses have climbed in step with increases to our services and usage.
How will the millage benefit the library?
This support will allow the library to maintain the level of service developed over the past 20 years. This includes a diverse collection of books, movies and other media; a growing array of online collections such as the Up North Digital Collection; and educational programs for kids and adults throughout the year. Funds generated by the millage will be used for operating expenses only.
How does the library benefit the community?
Over the past 20 years, the library has become an increasingly valuable resource, providing opportunities for life-long learning for all in our community. During this time, use of the library has essentially doubled, with more people taking advantage of our growing collections and services.
Strong local support has allowed the library to grow with the community
Knowledgeable, professional full-time staff provides great customer service
Story hours, thousands of books, and technology support early literacy
Computers in Glen Arbor & Maple City extend access to more users
Digital collections: e-books, audiobooks, periodicals, and more, available 24/7
What happens if the proposal doesn’t pass?
Nearly 80% of our operating income is generated by the millage assessed in our three township district. Without this financial support, our ability to provide library services would be greatly diminished. Staffing, hours of operation, collection spending, public computer resources, educational and enrichment programs, and online resources would all be reduced or eliminated.
What will the cost be for property owners?
The proposed millage assessment of 0.28 mills, which would be collected beginning in December 2016, would generate approximately $197,084 in the first year. Here’s the projected annual cost per household.
To put this cost into perspective, consider these typical consumer expenses:
1 hardcover book: $27
Subscription to Sports Illustrated: $39
Netflix subscription (1 month): $10
Movie ticket: $8.50
1 music album (CD or download): $12
Cup of coffee: $2.70
More food for thought: The average operating millage collected for Michigan public libraries is 0.86 mills. In fact, the proposed rate of 0.28 mills for our library would be the fifth-lowest in the state.
What’s your library worth? For another measure of the library’s value, see the Library of Michigan’s online calculator: http://mel.org/roi
What is the status of the building addition plan?
In order to meet our long-term goals, a larger facility will eventually be needed (see our Strategic Plan for more details). To that end, property adjacent to the library has been purchased and cleared for the site of future expansion. However, planning has been put on hold until funding to support current operations is secured. The proposed 5 year assessment of 0.28 mills will be used for operating expenses only, maintaining our current service levels while expansion is planned and constructed. Long-term operating costs will be clearer once the expansion project is completed.