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Information campaign starting up for Sugar Grove Library referendum

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 11:32 p.m. CDT
(Shaw Media file photo)
Sugar Grove Public Library officials will ask voters for a rate increase in the March primary election.

SUGAR GROVE – In gearing up for its 11th rate increase request, Sugar Grove Library Director Carol Dolin said the library will offer multiple opportunities for voters to learn about what is at stake.

“We have put together a PowerPoint to explain what we are doing and how much it will cost and what we are going to do with it,” Dolin said. “And what we have done in the past year and half to two years to make the library more available to our users.”

Dolin said the PowerPoint is being edited and will be available on the district’s website after the library board approves it. The board meets Thursday.

“We will have fliers and brochures and posters with the same information on it, so patrons can see it when they walk in,” Dolin said. “All staff will be prepared with information if they get questions.”

All staff members are voter registrars, so patrons also can register to vote, she said.

The request on the March 18 ballot asks to raise the rate to approximately 20.6 cents per $100 equalized assessed valuation. The current rate is 12.4 cents.

If voters approve, it would raise about $300,000 more in tax revenue, to $892,000 from just under $600,000, according to the referendum documents. The increase would cost the owner of a $100,000 house $25.64 more in taxes, officials said.

The library’s efforts are within the law, Dolin said, as providing information, not promotional.

“Basically, we’re using our statistics, which is information we already had and is in the board packets every month,” Dolin said.

Another factor – possibly in the referendum’s favor this time – is more than half the people in the library district now have library cards, about 54 percent.

“Every day, we are registering new people who have not used the library before,” Dolin said. “And all our staff are voter registrars. We have early voting here in the building – maybe that will make people aware of the situation. Whether they vote yes or no, that is their choice.”

The referendum’s goal is to have the library offer more programs and be open more hours. Dolin said the staff has tried to shift as much funding as possible toward offering more services to the public. 

“And we’ve made some choices, such as deferred some maintenance, to demonstrate there are things here for people to want to use the library,” Dolin said. “We have been explaining why the library is an important addition to the community and should be open every day, so people can use the resources they are already paying for.”

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