The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

September 27, 2013

Andover library to seek operating levy

ANDOVER — The Andover Public Library is seeking a five-year .5-mil tax levy this November to assist with operating costs.

“The Andover Public Library has struggled mightily since the 1/3 budget reduction for Ohio libraries in 2009,” said Leta Gilmore, levy committee chairperson. “But the economy still has not allowed normal operations to be restored.”

The library has been successful in obtaining grants for capital items such as a new roof, carpeting, handicap doors and computers, which has been an enormous help, she said.

“Nevertheless, the small levy is needed to help with daily expenses and to continue providing exciting outreach programs,” Gilmore said.

Susan Hill, library director, said this is the first time the library has had a levy of its own, in which the funds will come directly to the Andover library for its operating expenses.

Hill said she is optimistic the Public Library Fund, which all libraries use for their operations, will improve.

“It is not our plan to always have to go back to the polls to function,” she said. “Ohio libraries have traditionally been the best in the country. I do not believe our legislators would allow Ohio to lose that vitality.”

For a family with a $100,000 home, appraised at $35,000 for taxes, payments will be $8.75 every six months, or $17.50 per year.

“Use of Andover Public Library has been so high that it has achieved a five-star rating for the last three years in the American Library Association Library Journal Index of Library Service,” Hill said. “We desperately need the levy to keep our service at an excellent level.”

Don Eyring, board of trustees president, said the levy committee believes it is only right to ask for the very minimum amount needed to provide excellent library service.

“The levy will bring in $74,000 a year, not enough to restore the budget to 2009 levels, but enough to carry on most of our programs and activities,” he said.

Hill said the Andover Public Library has cooperated with the other libraries in the county to save money and provide outstanding services through partnerships.

“Cooperation is the best for our community and the cost-effective way all government agencies need to operate,” she said.

The Andover Public Library is a school district library so residents of New Lyme Township, Andover Village and Andover Township, Richmond Township, Cherry Valley Township, Wayne Township, Williamsfield Township and Pierpont Township will be asked to vote on the measure.

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