2018-08-05 / Insight

Imlay City Library seeks renewal and small millage increase

IMLAY CITY — Tracy Aldrich, library director at the Ruth Hughes Memorial District Library, said confusion is the library’s biggest problem facing her library in Tuesday’s election.

Aldrich said the library, which serves Attica and Imlay townships and Imlay City, is asking voters to approve a .9966-mill renewal and a .1034-mill tax increase for a total of 1.1 mills to operate the library, but some voters seem to have their request confused with their cross-county colleague’s efforts to build a new library.

“All we’re asking for is a renewal and a little cushion,” she said, noting voters approved 1 mill in 2012 and since then the Headlee Amendment has scaled that back to .9966 mill.

The millage would cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 less than the cost of two hard cover books, but means life and death to the library.

Aldrich said the $384,000 the levy would generate annually represents about 82 percent of the library’s annual income.

“The problem is,” she said, “in the recession we took such a heavy hit.”

When district voters approved the current millage in 2008, she said, it generated $387,559 annually but by 2016 that had shrunk to $328,521 — a 15-percent decrease.

She added the library has lost $60,000 in court fine revenue and there’s a possibility the library could lose the state reimbursement in lieu of the personal property tax income it lost with the 2014 repeal of that tax. That, she said, would cost the district another $15,000 to $20,000.

At the end of 2016 the library had 47,600 books, magazines, DVDs, CDs and video games in its collection and more than 500,000 E-books, audio books, music albums and movies in its digital collection. Library staff answered more than 12,000 reference questions and presented 257 programs to more than 4,500 people. She added, nearly 40,000 people visited the library and more than 9,000 of them used computers.

Ruth Hughes Memorial District Library voters vote at City Hall in Imlay City, 150 N. Main St.; at the Imlay Township Hall, 682 North Fairgrounds Rd.; and at the Attica Township Hall, 4350 Peppermill Rd.

Phil Foley


10 years

.9966 mill renewal and .1034 mill increase

Total 1.1 mill total

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