In a conversation with The Gazette last month, Delaware County District Library (DCDL) Director George Needham expressed cautious optimism about the levy renewal on the Nov. 6 ballot. On Tuesday, county residents backed up that optimism by pushing the renewal through with ease.
The levy, which makes up two-thirds of the library’s budget, passed with over 64 percent of the votes in favor of the renewal. The millage rate, at 1.0, will remain the same and will be good for the next 15 years.
“What this means is we have a stable source of funding for the next 15 years, which means that we can plan strategically and tactically to provide great service to the people of Delaware County,” Needham said of the levy’s success. “Because of the vote of confidence, we are more committed than ever to doing just that. To get a 2-to-1 vote in favor means the people appreciate the service we are providing. We want to make sure we continue to be worthy of that support.”
With the renewal, DCDL will be able to finish paying off the 25-year bank notes for the Orange Township branch, which was opened in 2011. In addition to paying off its newest branch, DCDL can move forward with plans for a new branch in the Powell and Liberty Township area.
The existing Powell library branch on South Liberty Road is owned by the library, and the land lease from the city still has 75 years remaining on a 99-year contract. Needham said they would continue to operate it as a “library station more than a full-fledged library” if a new branch is built.
Discussions on locations for a southern county branch have taken place, Needham said last month, but decisions would not be made until the money could be relied upon. Now, with the money in place, he expects to move forward quickly with the plans for the new branch, saying they didn’t want to “get stuck in any sort of analysis paralysis.”
“We have a feasibility committee who will look at site selection — where we’re actually going to place this thing,” Needham said. “We’ve had several community members, developers, and Realtors make suggestions. We will weigh those and look at things like traffic patterns, population density, and proximity to other libraries, and then make the decision.”
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @ddavis_gazette.