Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ashland library levy slated for November vote

Library in Ashland, Ore. Image by Curtis Cronn
Library in Ashland, Ore. Image by Curtis Cronn
Licensed for use under Creative Commons with some rights reserved

As reported by Vickie Aldous on July 18 for the Ashland Daily Tidings, Ashland voters will decide this November whether to renew a levy that provides additional funding to the Ashland Public Library

The Ashland City Council unanimously voted on July 17 to put the levy renewal on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Aldous states that without the money from a levy approved by Ashland voters in November 2008, Jackson County budget limitations would cause the Ashland library to be open 24 hours per week instead of the 40 hours per week that it is open now.
“The levy also pays for the equivalent of three full-time employees and library outreach programs to children, teens and seniors, according to city officials.”
According to Aldous, the November 2008 levy is set to expire in the summer of 2013. “Renewing the levy would continue the supplemental funding until the summer of 2017.”

As a library supporter, I hope Ashland residents will vote to renew the levy. Libraries have been crucial to my ongoing access to information that I need to know. A library that is closed to the public does no one any good.

I appreciate the optimism reflected in a statement by Ashland Councilor Carol Voisin: “Our community really rises to the occasion when it comes to our library.”

Aldous states, the levy would cost up to 21 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value: $50.51 for the owner of a home assessed at $241,000. “However,” Aldous adds, “the city of Ashland has levied $0.19 of the possible $0.21 in the past. City officials said they will only levy the necessary amount to maintain existing services.”

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