|Supporters Launch Campaign for Passage of Ypsilanti District Library Millage|
|News - Press Releases|
|Tuesday, 21 September 2010 05:36|
(Ypsilanti, Michigan) Citizens from the City of Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township and Superior Township have formed a committee in support of a library millage proposal recently added to the November 2nd ballot. Community Supporters for the Ypsilanti District Library Millage was established to help inform voters of the exponential growth of library services along with a drastic loss in revenues due to the economic crisis.
“It just became clear to our Board of Trustees that, without this millage to put our funding back, at least close to the levels we had in 2007, we would have to start making some very visible cuts to staff and services,” says Ypsilanti District Library (YDL) Director Jill Morey.
The decision to add the millage proposal to the coming election ballot came at a meeting shortly before the deadline for filing, making it the very last item on the ballot. “Well, we certainly have our work cut out for us. But we now also have 81% of our extended community with library cards – up more than 30% since we asked for support from voters 12 years ago. Not to mention a near quadrupling of our circulation numbers in that time. I’m hoping those people see the importance of the library on so many levels, especially today,” says Jean Nelson, committee member.
If approved, the millage would restore the amount of the originally authorized millage rate in 1998 that has been reduced by the Headlee Amendment, and it would also partially restore funding to the 2007 level.
“By no means would this be a windfall for the library system,” says Morey. “But it would mean that by continuing our present cost-cutting efforts like the hiring freezes and flat raise structures, we wouldn’t face the loss of more than 35% of our revenue within three years. Without it, the libraries will be running in the red and the whole system would have to be curtailed.”
The Library Board is asking residents to support a millage of 0.38 mills. In real terms that would mean:
· Homeowners with a taxable value on their homes of $50,000 (approximately 50% of a market price of @$100,000) the cost would be $19 per year, or $1.60 per month.
· Homeowners with a taxable value on their homes of $150,000 (approximately 50% of a market price of @$300,000) the cost would be $28.50 per year or about $2.40 per month.
The Committee has started a Facebook campaign (YES to the Ypsi Library Millage!) with links to backgrounders and Frequently Asked Questions on the need for the millage at this time. Committee members will also be fanning out to community groups, trade associations and political gatherings with their message of support for the millage. “Because of our position on the ballot, we’re thinking of something like: ‘Last on the ballot, first in the heart of our community!’ to make sure voters make their way down to this important proposal,” says Nelson.