Voters are being asked to renew a 1.91-mill, five-year levy that will ensure the library continues operating at its current level.
WHAT IT IS: A 1.91-mill renewal levy
DURATION: Five years
HOW MUCH WOULD IT RAISE: $1.37 million
PURPOSE: To raise money for current expenses
COST TO HOMEOWNER: The owner of a $100,000 home will pay $47.01 annually.
Money generated from the renewal levy makes up 83 percent of the North Ridgeville Branch Library’s budget, with the other 17 percent coming from the state’s public library fund.
The levy generates $1.37 million of the library’s $1.6 million operating budget.
“Without it, we would have to shut our doors,” said Anastasia Diamond-Ortiz, CEO and director of the Lorain Public Library System. “We wouldn’t be able to operate. We would have to eliminate all programming, layoff staff, cut the library materials budget. We wouldn’t be able to add at all to what we have. We would just have to keep cutting.”
Diamond-Ortiz is optimistic that it won’t come to that.
“We have been very blessed with broad support from the public,” she said. “They use the library and they get the value of it. Even if they don’t visit every day, they know someone who does.”
If the levy does not pass May 7, the library board could elect to go back to voters in November, but cuts would be immediate.
“We will do whatever we have to do to continue to serve the public,” Diamond-Ortiz said.
The owner of a $100,000 home would pay $47.01 annually, or $3.92 per month, if renewed.
The funds generated by the levy stay in North Ridgeville.
“People want to see where their tax dollars went,” Diamond-Ortiz said. “They can actually come into the library and see the benefits.”
In addition to programming offered for both children and adults, the library offers numerous resources from books to media to computers. It also is one of the few places in the city where groups can gather for free.
“We’ve heard Mayor (David) Gillock refer to the library as the ‘jewel of the community,’” Diamond-Ortiz said. “Every single group in North Ridgeville has a stake in this from homeowner associations to parents who take their children to story time to adults who want to learn computers. It’s so important to the community to keep the community moving forward. It is a necessity.”