Library submits operating millage for November ballot


REED CITY — Despite voters turning down both an operating and renovation millage proposal in the August primary election, members of the Reed City Area District Library have submitted another proposal that will be on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Following the primary election, the library board hosted a public meeting where members adopted and certified a November operating millage proposal, which would allow for stable, long-term funding for the library and expansion of its services.

If voters pass the millage, it will cost district residents 95 cents per year per $1,000 of taxable value for 10 years. The district consists of Reed City, Lincoln Township and Richmond Township.

"For the Reed City Area District Library to become a permanent entity, the District Library Agreement requires the library to obtain voter approval of an operating millage of at least 0.95 mills by Nov. 30, 2015," said Reed City Area District Library Director Heather Symon.

Although voters in the primary election also saw a millage for a renovation bond proposal, Symon said it cannot be on a ballot twice in a calendar year. To collect the necessary funds, however, the library will continue to seek grants and fundraising opportunities.

Library staff and board members are struggling to have hope regarding available funds.

"It might not be realistic," Symon said. "A renovation bond proposal may have to go on the ballot in 2015."

Currently, the library is housed in The Annex Building, owned by Osceola County, but its lease expires on June 9, 2016. If the funds are not available for the library by that date, the future of the library is uncertain.

"The board is doing everything within its power to avoid the obvious worst case scenario, that being the library is forced to close if it has no building to house it," Symon said.