2018-08-12 / Insight

Ruth Hughes library millage passes easily

IMLAY CITY — Librarians at the Ruth Hughes Memorial District Library were worried that local voters would confuse their request for operating millage with Lapeer’s attempt to fund a new library building.

Apparently, their concerns were unfounded. Voters in Imlay City, Imlay Township and Attica Township got behind the tax request 1,348 to 978.

Diane Willick, the library’s adult services coordinator, said the mood at the library following Tuesday’s vote was “really happy.” She said, “We’re very, very thankful that it passed.”

The library district asked voters to approve a .9966-mill renewal and a .1034-mill tax increase for a total of 1.1 mills to operate the library and they said yes by a 370-vote margin.

“It gives us the impression that voters value their library, said Willick.

The tax will generate $384,000 for the library and cost $55 for someone with a home valued at $100,000.

According to Library Director Tracy Aldrich, the library’s branches in Imlay City and Attica had 40,000 visitors in 2016, the latest year they have statistics for, and more than 9,000 of them used computers.

“We are thankful be have wonderful community support,” said Library Board President Conni Brett.

She credited Aldrich’s hard work with getting the word out.

“She did an excellent job letting the community know that we wanted to be there for them,”

Brett said.

Brett said the library board cannot “take a deep breath and reassess.” She said in recent years as money got tight, the library board had to put some needed projects on hold and consider cutting programs to balance the budget.

Aldrich said the millage, even with the slight increase, will just put the library back to where it was a decade ago, at least in terms of revenue.

Phil Foley

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