Fayette library seeks 0.75 mill levy 10.21.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette’s Normal Memorial Library board intends to ask voters to approve a 0.75-mill levy next May in an effort to restore a portion of the cuts in service made last month.

Due to funding problems at the state level, allocations to libraries fell by about 30 percent. Like most libraries in Ohio, Fayette’s board of directors responded by cutting back on the hours of operation.

In mid-September, hours were reduced from 49 to 29, with evening hours only once a week and no Saturday hours.

Since the library is a school district library, permission to seek a levy must first be obtained from the Fayette Board of Education.

Library board vice president Mike Figgins explained to the school board Monday night how funding cuts are affecting the facility.

Revenue a year ago came in at $152,500. For 2009, cuts made for the final quarter of the year dropped revenue to $119,000, and the projection for next year stands at $111,250. The library’s fund balance might shrink as low as $15,500.

The library board aims to ask approval of a five-year, 0.75-mill operating levy in the May 2010 election. If approved, the first collection from the levy would arrive in May 2011. The levy would bring in about $30,000 annually and cost a typical homeowner less than $15 a year, Figgins said.

“That still won’t make up everything,” Figgins said, “but it will allow us to add some hours.”

He’s hoping the state will restore some level of funding.

Library director Sally Canfield told the board that the reduction in hours makes it difficult for many patrons to make use of the library’s services. In tough economic times, in particular, the availability of internet service is important for job searching and for those who can no longer afford to pay for an internet connection at their home.

If the levy passes, board member Kirk Keiser asked, what would be restored?

Canfield said the most likely choice would be to schedule Saturday hours again.

Board president Paula Schaffner asked if the library had sought a levy in the past. Fiscal officer Irene Fether said this would be the first time.

The school board must decide whether or not to approve the request no later than 75 days prior to the election.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    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.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016