The local library has evolved into something much more than just a place to check out a book or peruse the Dewey Decimal System. 89.1 WEMU’s Lisa Barry reports on an upcoming library millage issue that will be before Ypsilanti voters on November 6th.
With 90% of the Ypsilanti District Library’s revenue coming from local tax dollars, Ypsilanti District Library director Lisa Hoenig says they have a lot of ways to spend the new revenue should the 0.7 mill -over 12 year request before voters be approved.
Hoenig says the Ypsilanti District Library system has struggled financially, due to the economic downturn in 2007 and 2008.
Superior Township joined the library district in 2007 with the intention of opening its own branch but has been operating in a one-room, less than 1,000-square foot space in a fire station for the past 11 years.
A "yes" vote on the Ypsilanti millage issue, according to Hoenig, would allow them to finally build that library on property the township purchased on Harris Road.
And if it doesn't pass? The Ypsilanti District Library director says cuts will need to be made.
There’s been some community conversation about a part of the ballot language that says, "A portion of the millage collected may be subject to capture by the City of Ypsilanti Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.”
The library director explains that would amount to a very small amount of the money raised by the new millage to cover those costs.
Hoenig estimates the Ypsilanti District Library is used by just over 82,000 people, adding they have 39,000 people with library cards.
She says libraries are a lot of things to a lot of people, adding they are an economic driver that helps boost property values and helps with quality of life.
It will be up to Ypsilanti voters to decide "the next chapter" of the community library district when they vote on November 6th.
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