The Westerville Public Library will ask voters to approve a continuing 2-mill levy in November, helping the library to restore Sunday hours, purchase more materials and keep pace with technology.

The Westerville Public Library will ask voters to approve a continuing 2-mill levy in November, helping the library to restore Sunday hours, purchase more materials and keep pace with technology.

The Westerville Board of Education, which is the taxing body for the library, approved placing the levy on the ballot at its May 23 meeting.

The library currently is collecting on a 0.8-mill levy, which has to be renewed every five years, library director Don Barlow said.

The library is raising the millage to help restore funding lost through continuing state cuts and is looking to make the levy permanent to avoid having to go to the ballot regularly, Barlow said.

The 2-mill levy will cost residents $61.25 per every $100,000 in property valuation.

Because incorrect information was included in the resolution approved by the school board, the story in the May 26 print edition of ThisWeek Westerville mistakenly said the cost to residents would be $200 per $100,000 of property valuation.

Following cuts in the state's last biennial budget, the library cut Sunday hours and materials budget and continued a hiring freeze. State funding provides the majority of the library's revenue.

"The library is now funded at 1994 funding levels," Barlow said, although library traffic has increase by 42 percent in that time.

Since voters last passed a replacement levy for the library in 2007, the state's library funding has been cut by 41 percent, and Barlow said he expects to continue to see state funding levels decrease.

The proposed levy would generate nearly $5 million in its first year, allowing the library to refill 14 positions, restore its materials budget, replace its 60-year-old HVAC system, reopen on Sundays, keep pace with technology and increase school outreach programs and adult and children's programs, he said.

"For us to be successful, we simply must have stable funding to meet the growing needs of our community," Barlow said.

Westerville's library costs the least per resident than other libraries in Franklin County, Barlow said.

"The WPL is currently the lowest-funded library in Franklin County," he said.

If the levy passes, Barlow said, the library would be the third-lowest funded library in Franklin County.

Because the library's taxing boundaries follow the Westerville City Schools boundaries, all residents within the Westerville City School District will vote on the library levy in November.

If passed, funds produced by the levy would be collected starting in January 2012.