SUNBURY — The Community Library said its replacement levy will cost homeowners in 29 precincts the equivalent of two hardcover books per year.
The ballot language reads, “A replacement of a tax for the benefit of the Community Library for the purpose of current expenses that the county auditor estimates will collect $1,251,000 annually, at a rate not exceeding 1 mill for each $1 of taxable value, which amounts to $35 for each $100,000 of the county auditor’s appraised value, for 5 years, commencing in 2024, first due in calendar year 2025.”
The library, which serves the Big Walnut area, has issued a levy fact sheet.
“The local levy accounts for over 52% of our annual income,” the fact sheet said. “The Community Library depends on local support to maintain and grow our programs and services. The one-mill levy provides stable and sufficient resources for five years, allowing the library to meet the needs of the growing community.”
A library card gives a household “access to over 700,000 physical items, 3.3 million digital items, Wi-Fi, hotspots, public notaries, passport services, workshops, story times, public meeting rooms, and much, much more.”
The library said it has increased acquisitions by nearly 11% in the last five years, had increased program attendance of 10% annually, increased circulation 66%, and “increased non-traditional library services, such as public notaries and passport applications. We average over 1,500 passport and notarization annually.”
In addition, Community Library said, “We were one of the few libraries to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Additionally, in partnership with the State of Ohio, we have distributed almost 20,000 free COVID-19 tests.”
The library said that for every public dollar it receives, it provides the community $3.50 in benefits.
“The library secured grants and donations in the amount of $717,849, averaged 1,000 volunteer hours annually, and only averaged a 3% annual increase for operation costs,” the fact sheet said. It “kept staff size at approximately 15 full-time employees to help maintain personnel costs.”
If the levy were to fail, “we will work with the community to determine what actions to take to best serve area residents,” the library said. “We have some operational reserves, but once those reserves have been exhausted, we would have to reduce hours, eliminate programs, and cut staff.”
For more information, visit yourcl.org.
Assistant Editor Gary Budzak photographs and reports on stories in eastern Delaware County and surrounding areas.