District library: Time for townships to decide 2012.05.30

Written by David Green.

Plans to form a Lenawee County district library are moving forward and area township boards of trustees will soon learn what it means. Representatives from the district library planning committee will attend Seneca and Medina township meetings to explain what the proposal means to township residents.

The new district would combine the Adrian Public Library and the existing Lenawee County Library—long with its branches—plus any other libraries that choose to join. At this time, no other libraries have indicated an intent to join.

If Seneca and Medina township boards decide not to join the proposed county-wide district library and instead maintain an affiliation with Morenci’s Stair Public Library, then township residents would not be able to use the new county-wide district library without paying a fee. On the other hand, if trustees decide to become part of the new district library, residents will pay in another way: through a millage that will fund the new library system.

What a deal. Join us and pay or don’t join us and pay. Use of Stair Public Library will remain available to township members at no charge.

Members of Stair Public Library’s board of trustees have already expressed their desire to remain independent and not join the proposed County/Adrian district. This means that Morenci residents would not pay a county district library millage, nor would they be able to check out materials from the district library, at least not without paying for a library card. The county library as it exists today—supported by county tax funds and available to everyone—would be gone.

All of this is dependent on a successful millage campaign for support of the new district. If the vote fails, then Adrian Public Library will remain a separate entity from the county library.

Seneca and Medina trustees need to weigh the costs of the changes. Is there local support for the proposed district library system with its millage? Would the proposed district library be used by a sufficient number of residents to justify having everyone pay the new millage? What’s the cost of the millage for a typical resident vs. the cost of paying for a library card at the proposed district library? Will the county commissioners decrease taxes to offset the library millage? Details of the district plan need to be known before township trustees can make an informed decision.

It’s a good time for township residents to talk with trustees and let them know what they want with regard to library services.

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    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
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    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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