Source: Sherman Publications

One more chance for library millage

by Andrea Beaudoin

April 02, 2014

If voters shoot down a library millage on Aug. 5, Clarkston-Independence library will close.

Officials are asking taxpayers to pay about $125 per residence a year, which is $58 more than the average $67 paid now.

“We can run a terrific library on $125 per residence," Marilyn Pomeroy, president of the library board. “We are asking for about $52 a year increase from last year. That is why the Clarkston-Independence Library will ask voters to give them another shot."

Neighboring libraries have a reciprocal agreement with Clarkston's library, which would be void if it closes, said Library Director Judith Meridith.

In 2012, the newly organized district library, which had operated .691 millage rate, asked voters to increase that rate to 1.25. Voters rejected the request, with 58 percent against and 49.92 percent, or 9,443, for it, a difference of about 30 voters.

The library stayed open but hours were cut from 63 hours to 57, with the library closed on Sunday. One full-time staff member also cut.

“Because the library had closed an additional 23 days, stopped opening on Sunday in the summer months, teens, children’s, ,and after school program also got cut," Pomeroy said. "The budget for books, movies and music was slashed to 43 percent."

Pomeroy said many voters at the time were unaware of library funding or that the library system lost funding.

In 2012, the library was reestablished under the District Library Agreement, with two chances to get funding.

If voters turn down the millage and the library closes, the building and assets would be transferred to Independence Township.