The Delaware County District Library will replace a too-small branch and the village of Sunbury will prepare for its transition to cityhood with voters' overwhelming approval Nov. 6.

The library's 15-year, 1-mill levy won with a vote of 42,640 to 23,833, or 64 to 36 percent, according to final, unofficial results from the Delaware County Board of Elections.

Another countywide issue, the Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities' 0.4-mill continuing levy, also won easily by a vote of 56,395 to 34,171, or 62 to 38 percent.

In Sunbury, the village's proposal to create a charter commission in anticipation of being classified as a city after the 2020 census was approved by a vote of 1,584 to 499, or 76 to 24 percent.

A companion issue on the ballot elected 15 members to the charter commission. All ran unopposed.

Sunbury Administrator Allen Rothermel thanked the voters for approving the commission and said the village "can roll up its sleeves" and begin work to create a charter.

That will happen, he said, after the board of elections certifies official election results, expected to take about a month.

The commission's organizational meeting is expected to be held the second week of December, with its first working meeting in January, Rothermel said. Dates will be set later.

An Ohio village automatically becomes a city when its population is certified at 5,000 by a census.

When that happens, a former village can adopt a statutory form of city government or adopt a charter.

Delaware County's two existing cities, Delaware and Powell, have charters, which act as "constitutions" to define a government's powers and responsibilities.

Sunbury's website says a charter gives cities control over their organizational structure, administrative procedures and other matters.

Mayor Tommy Hatfield earlier said creating the commission and electing its members do not constitute a decision to create a charter, but a case of "taking the time to review the options."

The public can attend the charter commission's meetings and provide input, Hatfield said.

The commission is expected to create a proposal for a charter that will be on the November 2019 ballot for voters' approval.

At the Delaware County District Library, leaders said the highest priorities after last week's levy win include paying off debt on the Orange branch and replacing the Powell branch.

Built in 1993, the Powell branch at 5,000 square feet is considered too small for the area, library leaders said.

Director George Needham said the library board will create a feasibility committee to develop a plan for the new Powell branch.

The library is 25 years into a 99-year lease for the current site, he said, so the current library at 460 S. Liberty St. likely will continue to exist with reduced services, including computers, a reading room and meeting space.

The committee's first task will be to identify a location for a new Powell library, Needham said, considering factors such as traffic and distance from other branches.

He said updates at the Delaware and Ostrander libraries, plus technology upgrades and the addition of more parking at the Orange branch also are in the works.

Needham said it was gratifying to see voters' support for the library and thanked those who helped with the campaign.

"We couldn't have done this without the volunteers we had," he said.

As an example, he cited Kevin Daberkow, whom he credited for the appearance of library levy signs in many yards in Scioto Reserve near Home and Steitz roads.

The campaign committee was headed by former library board president Michael Butler, Needham said.

"Libraries continue to be the preferred location for voluntary learning and lifelong curiosity," he said, adding the election "shows how the people of Delaware County value" the library.

Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities Superintendent Kristine Hodge said the board is thankful for voters' support.

She said volunteers, including those from provider agencies, residents and staff members, share credit for the ballot victory.

"It was a community effort," she said.

"I cannot express enough our thankfulness to our community," she added. "The passage of the levy will allow us to continue to provide excellent service to Delaware County and remain good stewards of public funds."

Approval of the 0.4-mill levy means the board is committed to allowing a 0.56-mill levy to expire in 2020, Hodge said.

That step will mean the board will have only one levy to submit for voter renewal: a 2.1-mill levy scheduled to appear on the 2020 ballot.

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