Operating expenses

The Holgate Community Library is seeking a five-year, 2 mills levy for operating expenses in the Nov. 3 election.

HOLGATE — The Holgate Community Library is asking voters to approve a 2 mills levy this November.

If approved, the five-year levy is projected to generate $150,278 per year which would be used for major structural repairs of the building, to reinstate services which have been cut and for the purchase of updated materials and technology.

For a home valued at $100,000, the cost would be $70 per year. For Hoytville Clay farm land, the cost would be $2.71 per acre each year.

Lynn Swary, library director, explained the library’s only current funding source, aside from occasional donations, is from the state and those funds started falling in 2008. Since 2008, library funding statewide has decreased by $105 million (24 percent).

“We’re getting less and less money from the state,” Swary said. The library has been operating at deficit spending since 2007 and began making reductions in library materials and hours in 2008. “We’ve had to cut so much, we’re just treading water, so to speak.

“We would like to get back where we think the library should be,” she added.

If the levy is passed, a priority for the revenue will be renovations to the building, specifically repairing cracks in the foundation and leaks in the roof and replacing the lighting and plumbing.

“Our building is in pretty rough shape,” Swary said. “We’ve got a lot of really major things that need to be done.”

Also if the levy is passed, services which would be reinstated include author visits, educational social classes, children’s programs and computer classes. The additional funds would also allow for new purchases, such as computers, books, magazines, DVDs and movies.

A portion of the library’s funding goes to membership in the Serving Ohio Every (SEO) Consortium, which allows the members to loan resources such as books, magazines, CDs, DVDs and digital content.

“We’re able to get thousands of things from other libraries,” Swary said, adding it’s a popular service that patrons use.

Without additional funding, it’s projected the library can continue as is for approximately four more years.

“We’ve really lost so much in Holgate, we don’t want to lose our library, too,” Swary said. “I don’t know that they would necessarily shut down the library, but ... they would have to cut back even more as time goes on.”

There are currently four employees at the library, including Swary, who is full-time, and three part-time individuals. The community library was formed in 1971 and was previously located in the school and two other locations before moving to the current location at 204 Railway Ave.

E-mail comments to jenl@northwestsignal.net.

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