Voters approved the renewal of the Southwest Public Libraries' 10-year, 1-mill levy according to unofficial results announced for Ohio’s delayed primary election.

The unofficial results posted Wednesday, April 29, by the Franklin County Board of Elections show the issue was approved 9,953 votes to 3,740 votes, or 72.69% to 27.31%.

The primary election was delayed from its March 17 date because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and was completed by mailed-in absentee ballots, early in-person voting or voters dropping off ballots at county boards of elections by 7:30 p.m. April 28.

Mailed-in ballots posted marked by April 27 and received by May 8 will be counted with the official results, according to Aaron Sellers, spokesman for the Franklin County Board of Elections.

Issue 20 was a renewal of a library levy voters approved in November 2010.

The 2010 levy was the library system's first ballot measure. It will expire at the end of this year and the renewal will take effect Jan. 1.

The effective millage of the renewal will be 0.89 mill, SWPL director Mark Shaw said. Millage is reduced when property values increase, which has occurred over the past decade.

The levy will continue to provide about $2.5 million, or about 37% of the library's annual operating income, Shaw said. The Public Library Fund from the state provides most of of the library’s additional funding.

With the renewal, a residential property owner will continue to pay $27.26 annually per $100,000 of the appraised value, Shaw said.

Since the original levy's passage, a new Grove City Library was built in partnership with the city at 3959 Broadway, and the Westland Area Library at 4740 W. Broad St. in Columbus was improved with new meeting space and an expanded youth-services area.

The levy renewal will allow the library system to maintain its current level of service and programming, Shaw said.

The library temporarily closed March 14 because of the coronavirus pandemic and will remain closed until at least Monday, May 4.

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