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Library hopes to stay open


Election outcome will determine future for Ruth Hughes district



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May 02, 2007
TRI-CITY AREA — Voters from Imlay City and Imlay and Attica townships will be asked to approve a six year, one mill operating millage for the Ruth Hughes Memorial District Library on May 8.

This is the first time the district is asking residents to simply reapprove the last operating millage that expired in December, but the third time the millage proposal has been posed to voters. A countywide millage for 1.25 mills failed in August and a district proposal for the same amount also fell short by about 220 votes in November.

"What we're asking for is not above and beyond what taxpayers are already paying," Director Bryan Cloutier said.

"It's pretty much a renewal."

Following the general election defeat, the district cut hours at their Attica and Imlay City branches only after trimming an additional $40,000 from the 2007 fiscal year's budget. If more funding is not approved, they will likely have to close their doors.

In this recent campaign library supporters have been working to clear up any misconceptions about the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) tax capture included with the millage.

"Although the people that live in Attica and Imlay townships will see the DDA capture on the ballot, 100 percent of their tax dollars will go to support the library," Cloutier said.

Of the Imlay City residents, only a handful who live in the DDA district will see a portion of the millage dollars they pay go to the DDA, as allowed by state law.

"We understand that it may be difficult for some families in our community to commit themselves to financially supporting their library, so in return, we hope you can find the value in maintaining quality library services," Cloutier said.

Some of those services include conference facilities, study rooms, business reference resources, a ten station computer lab, free computer training, historical and family history resources, youth services including story hours and author visits, adults services and special materials for Spanish speakers and the handicapped.

As for circulation of the district's books, magazines, dvds and video and other materials, it has increased by more than 110 percent over a ten year period from 1996 to 2006.

A homeowner's portion of the one mill can be calculated by taking half the market value of a home, divided by $1,000. So on a $150,000 home, the owners would pay $75 a year or 20 cents a day on the library millage.

For more information about the millage, call the library at 724-8043 or visit www.ruthhughes.org.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday (May 8).

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