St. Clair County Library system seeks 10 year, 1.2 mill levy on primary ballot
ST. CLAIR COUNTY — Voter-approved millage dollars are the primary source of funding for the St. Clair County Library System, accounting for about three-quarters of the department’s annual budget.
This year, library supporters will be asking voters to consider a “replacement” millage that would levy 1.2 mills for a 10 year period. The proposal appears on the August 2 primary election ballot. In 2014, voters approved an eight year 0.7 mill request.
If approved, the 1.2 million would generate approximately $8 million in the first year its collected.
The St. Clair County Library system has 11 branches throughout the county, including one in Capac, and employs more than 120 people.
Those staff members assist the 53,000-plus card holders plus others with an array of services.
“The library is open to everyone and creates access throughout the county with its unique system of branches and partnerships with local municipalities. Each branch is reflective of the needs of the community it is in,” said Denise Brooks, Chairman of the YES Library Campaign committee.
“The replacement millage will enhance existing services and set the stage for the library of the future with greater access and services.”
Bolstering current services would include expanding collections, simplifying access to library cards and growing existing programs. Expanding library access would encompass things like bookmobiles, hands-on learning areas and maker spaces for STEM, technology, hobbies and new skills.
Brooks notes that the residents of a home with a value of $160,000 would pay about $96 per year which is the equivalent of a couple of gourmet coffees a month or four hardback books a year.
“Please vote YES for the library on August 2,” she added.
Funds from the millage would not be used to build new branches, supporters say, and efforts would continue to increase efficiencies and reduce operating costs.
If the millage fails, the library system would be forced to close to the public within months.
A St. Clair County library card gives holders free access to traditional and digital library collections, computers and wireless internet. Staff reports that residents use their libraries to find jobs, write business plans, complete online degrees and much more. The number of books and other materials checked out from the county’s 11 branches is ever-increasing, they report.
The library partners with the St. Clair County Literacy Project to offer tutoring sessions, coordinates a Summer Reading Program, offer notary and passport services and offers free access to their Library for Assistive Media and Talking Books to all residents who have visual, physical and/or reading limitations.
More information about the St. Clair County Library millage can be found online at yeslibrary2022.org or by calling 810-488-3344.