Upper Arlington Public Library officials will seek a renewal of a levy next month that provides more than half the library's funding for day-to-day operations.

Upper Arlington Public Library officials will seek a renewal of a levy next month that provides more than half the library's funding for day-to-day operations.

Issue 63 is a six-year, 2-mill levy.

The levy, at its current millage, originally was passed in 2007. It expired five years later and approximately 73 percent of local voters approved its five-year renewal in 2012.

If Issue 63 passes, it would provide approximately $3.16 million in annual funding for the library by setting aside about 2 percent of Upper Arlington property taxes.

Library Director Chris Taylor said the levy is vital to maintaining current levels of service, because it now funds about 54 percent of the library's $5.9 million budget expenditures.

"It's actually extremely important to the citizens to keep their library strong," Taylor said. "In 2009, our state funding was decreased, and we did decrease some hours and we did decrease some staff positions because of that.

"(Issue 63) is for current operations. This isn't a levy where we're asking for new money and talking about new projects. We've never asked the public to fund what was lost."

Because it's a renewal, Issue 63 wouldn't raise local taxes.

According to the Franklin County Auditor's Office, the renewal would cost Upper Arlington homeowners $56.47 per $100,000 of home value.

Although funding hasn't increased, Taylor said the library has stretched its budget through partnerships with the city and Upper Arlington schools, as well as the installation of a more energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.

She also noted the library has enhanced services by allowing people to apply for passports, and through consortiums with other area libraries that have increased the number of materials UAPL cardholders can access and reserve.

The current 2-mill levy isn't set to expire until the end of 2017.

However, Issue 63 is being brought forward now to give officials time to put it back on the ballot next year, in the event it fails next month.

A levy on this year's ballot also is expected to cost less than if the library were to seek a renewal in 2017, which won't be a presidential election.

"Since we're going to be on the ballot with multiple jurisdictions, including federal and other state entities, the costs for the election go down," UAPL Fiscal Officer Justin Nahvi said.

As of press time, ThisWeek Upper Arlington News was not aware of organized opposition to Issue 63.

Taylor also said she's planning to continue to talk about the levy with local organizations, such as the Upper Arlington Civic Association, and a "Facebook chat" will be held at 8 p.m. Oct. 19 through www.facebook.com/UAPublicLibrary.

"Issue 63 is the last item on the Upper Arlington ballot," Taylor said. "We really want people to go to the bottom of the ballot and find it.

"It's a renewal, so we're not asking for any more money. We think we've been pretty good stewards of the public's money."

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