Licking County News

Nov. 6 election

Third time's a charm for Pataskala library levy

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Voters in the Southwest Licking school district last week ensured the Pataskala Public Library will not have to cut hours or skimp on new material purchases.

According to unofficial results from the Licking County Board of Elections on Nov. 6, the library's five-year, 0.5-mill levy renewal was approved by a count of 6,416 votes to 4,815 votes. The totals do not include all absentee and provisional ballots.

"We still will see a little reduction in the revenue we're bringing in because property values are down," said Library Director Jeff Rothweiler. "This will help us maintain the same level of service, with no cuts in hours or our materials budget."

The levy is estimated to generate about $280,000 a year, about 35 percent of the library's $780,000 budget, Rothweiler said. It will cost about $15.30 annually per $100,000 of assessed property valuation.

The Nov. 6 levy request was the library's third in the past year. The two previous requests -- both asking for additional millage -- were rejected.

On March 6, a combined five-year, 0.5-mill renewal levy and 0.25-mill increase was defeated 2,370 votes to 2,065.

The same levy request was defeated last November by a count of 3,880 votes to 3,692.

The levy with the increase would have cost property owners $22.96 annually per $100,000 of assessed property valuation and generated $432,750 for the library.

The five-year levy approved in 2007 expires at the end of the year. Rothweiler said the library used funds from that levy to renovate the building by adding new carpet, lighting and shelves; painting walls and upgrading the heating and cooling system.

The library also added e-books and wireless Internet service.

Even though the levy was renewed, Rothweiler said, the library will continue to work with volunteers, who help shelve books, clean shelves and straighten books on the shelves.

"We won't be adding any employees, but we won't be cutting any either," he said.

Rothweiler said the library has reduced staffing from 17 to 14 in the past two years by not replacing departing employees.

To save money this year, the library was closed on Saturdays from June through August.

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