Pemberville library turns to taxpayers for funding help PDF Print E-mail
Written by MARIE THOMAS BAIRD, Sentinel Education Editor   
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 08:25
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File photo. Anne Michel helps her granddaughter Melody Myers, 3, in making a blanket at the Pemberville Public Library. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
PEMBERVILLE - In the wake of state funding cuts, the Pemberville Public Library is asking area taxpayers for help.
The library in November will ask residents of the Eastwood School District to support a five-year, 0.8-mill operating levy.
Funds from the levy will bring the library back to income levels prior to the state cutting at least 30 percent of its funding.
According to library Director Jane Kohlenberg, the levy will collect $166,000 each year and will affect only taxpayers in the Eastwood School District. The owner of a home valued at $100,000 would pay $28 per year.
Kohlenberg and library officials approached the Eastwood Board of Education Monday to approve the measure. 
The school board has jurisdiction over the library when it comes to levies, and, per Ohio Revised Code, is the taxing agent. The board approved the measure at its meeting.
The library gets 95 percent of its funding from the state, said Kohlenberg.
She said she has noted cuts of approximately 30 percent in state funding in the last six or seven years.
Before that time, the library was receiving $400,000 from the state; that amount this year is anticipated at $279,000, she said.
The library's budget this year is $300,000.
With the levy, that will increase to around $445,000 as long as state funding stays constant.
The funds will go toward maintenance, books and technology - "all put on hold for a while since we've had our budgets cut," Kohlenberg said.
Specifically, she said the furnace and air conditioner need work, painting needs to be done, and digitization of the history department needs to happen.
The lack of updated computers and the cut in book purchases, "I think those are the biggest two things that we cut," she added.
The library used to collect on a levy, but that expired in 2010.
Only three of eight public libraries in Wood County do not receive levy support: Wayne, Weston and Pemberville.
Wayne also is going on the ballot in November.
Employee hours were cut as were some programs.
Kohlenberg and another full-time employee did a retire/rehire at a lower salary, and both are no longer covered by insurance through the library. There are 12 part-time employees and one full-time employee.
"This will bring us back up to being able to function," said Kohlenberg.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 July 2014 08:39
 

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