2018-08-05 / Insight

Lapeer District Library seeks 25-year millage to build new main library

LAPEER — On Tuesday, voters will have the opportunity to decide if funding the construction and equipping of a new flagship Lapeer District Library (LDL) facility via millage is a project they want to pursue.

Voters in the LDL service area will be asked to approve a 25-year millage, levied at .42 mills for the first year and .34 mills beyond the first year. In total, the millage will raise an estimated $12.6 million for the purpose of funding the construction of a new facility, as well as its equipping and furnishing the facility. The 8.5-acre site on which the construction is proposed to take place, on the southwest corner of Davison and DeMille roads, is already owned by the LDL. The property was purchased in April 2017 from the City of Lapeer for $350,000.

According to LDL Executive Director Melissa Malcolm, the millage money may only be used toward costs related to the building and grounds — including construction, furnishings, equipment, security, technology, parking lot and landscaping.

A feasibility study in April 2017 demonstrated that fund-raising would be extremely difficult and so, said Malcolm, the full cost of new construction is appearing on the ballot. “The need for this major investment in an essential community resource is the result of the library building outgrowing its capacity for modern library service and space for people and collections,” she said.

According to Malcolm, the current children’s department at the Marguerite deAngeli Library is not big enough to seat a classroom of students, and teens have access to only one table in a corner of the second floor. Malcolm continued, saying that the LDL’s collections are too small because there is not enough shelf space, and more books and other materials mean that the entire library district will benefit from a wider selection of materials held locally.

The Marguerite deAngeli, at the northeast corner of Genesee and Main Street (M-24) offers approximately 8,100 square feet of usable space, while the proposed new building would offer 35,000 square feet on the ground floor and another 15,000 square feet in the basement for storage and heating and cooling equipment.

By deed, the current building that houses the Marguerite deAngeli Branch can only be used for educational or government purposes. It has been said should the millage pass and a new building is constructed the City of Lapeer will likely move city hall into the Marguerite deAngeli building location.

The LDL millage will appear on the ballot for voters who live in the city of Lapeer and all Lapeer County townships except for Almont, Attica, Dryden, Goodland, Imlay, and North Branch.

Nicholas Pugliese

ASKING FOR

25 years
.42 mills first year
.34 mills after first year
Total $12.6 million

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