Tuesday, November 21, 2017 Medina 53°
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Elections

10-year county library levy approved

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    A sign on Route 3 in Medina urges voters to support the Medina County District Library tax levy during Tuesday's vote.

    ASHLEY FOX / GAZETTE

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    Medina County District Library staff gathered Tuesday night at Winking Lizard in Brunswick to watch as the primary election results came out. Pictured from left are Assistant Director Theresa Laffey, Outreach Services Manager Ann Plazek, and Board President Howard Elko.

    PHOTO PROVIDED

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MEDINA — Leaders and staff at the Medina County District Library looked comfortably to the future after voters approved a 10-year levy request Tuesday night.

The 1.5-mill levy passed handily with 7,741 votes in favor (66.46 percent) to 3,907 votes against (33.54 percent), according to unofficial results from the Medina County Board of Elections. The board will certify final tallies at a later date.

The request represented the renewal of an existing 1.25-mill levy with a 0.25-mill increase. The current levy will expire Dec. 31.

“I know that we were all feeling very hopeful and the vibes we were getting from (library) members and the community were all really good,” library spokeswoman Tina Sabol said Tuesday night.

“We are just so pleased that the community values what we do and supports their library and wants us to continue for the next 10 years.”

The 1.5-mill levy will generate about $5.6 million annually. The 1.25-mill levy generates about $4.9 million a year.

Per each $100,000 of property valuation, owners will be charged $45.24 annually, which is an $8.75 increase compared with what they pay now. The library operates on an annual budget of about $9.9 million, and 60 percent of the district’s revenue comes from levies.

Sabol said the 0.25-mill increase would allow the district to maintain operations and expand services.

She said more than 100 volunteers helped with the levy campaign through different tasks including sign distribution, walking the neighborhoods with flyers, design advertisements and flyers, and setting up a tab on the district website directed toward the levy.

“We had a great group of volunteers,” Sabol said. “The clich← ‘many hands make for light work,’ that really was true. It takes a lot of people to run a really successful, countywide campaign. I know whenever we had a need, people came to fill that need. Without that, there is no way you can run a good campaign.”

Sabol said library staff and volunteers also attended multiple community events and township trustees meetings and spoke to service groups (Kiwanis, Rotary and Lions clubs) and parent-teacher organizations to talk about the levy.

“Our goal of the campaign was: No. 1 to educate people … let people know all the details of levy in a very simple way with no confusion. No. 2, make sure people understood the current funding would expire. This wasn’t optional. We had to go on ballot to keep current funding.

“Lastly, stress even those who are not using library that much, you never know when you may be finding library resources really useful and necessary again.”

She said another key point was to inform the public of the 21st-century library’s standards, which exceeds just books.

“A lot of people don’t know the things we do outside of books and I made sure to share that with people … like the meeting room, passport (services) and outreach,” Sabol said. “It’s educating (the) public for them to know the real value of today’s library.”

With 186 full- and part-time staff, the district operates branches in Brunswick, Lodi, Seville, York Township near Buckeye Schools and Granger Township near Highland Schools. The main branch is in Medina.

Contact reporter Halee Heironimus at (330) 721-4012 or hheironimus@medina-gazette.com.



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