The Avon Lake Public Library is seeking a replacement-operating levy that will result in an increase of $5 per month per $200,000 home valuation. Currently, taxpayers are paying slightly more than $9 per month for the same valuation.
“That’s the cost of two cups of really good coffee,” Avon Lake Library Director Mary Crehore told the Avon Lake Board of Education on Jan. 11. The Board of Education acts as an agent for the library and must approve the motion.
The library is seeking approval of a 5-year, 2.8-mill levy that will raise $2.3 million a year at the May 3 election. The rate includes an additional 1 mill.
Both Crehore and board members commented on the symbiotic relationship between the district and the library.
“We always tell Mary how much we appreciate her and the library,” Superintendent of Schools Bob Scott said. Children at the school district use the library heavily, including two trips each year to visit “Mr. Z,” the DiscoveryWorks manager who leads hands-on experiments.
The library currently receives 70 percent of revenue from the operating levy, 25 percent from state funding and 5 percent from miscellaneous revenue including fines, fees and interest.
The Citizens for Avon Lake Public Library said the recession has taken a toll on the facility and the library’s revenue streams have been reduced by over 30 percent since 2008 and it has been hurt by cuts from the state budget.
Crehore said in an effort to stay on budget, the library has reduced staffing, enacted a hiring freeze and has unpaid staff furlough days. Employees have had wage freezes and the library has reduced its hours of operation by closing on Sundays.
Should the levy pass, the library will restore Sunday hours, upgrade and expand technology and continue maintenance on the 54,000-square-foot building.
Crehore said money collected from the 2011 levy will not be seen until 2012.