McLouth hoping for a more elaborate library
If voters approve a question on next month's general election ballot, the city of McLouth will wind up with a more extensive library.
This would be a progressive move for McLouth, said Cliff Weeks, a board member of the McLouth Recreation Commission where the city's present library is housed in the community building.
"I would love to see it happen," Weeks said. "I think there's a need. I don't think we need to start real big, we should start small and work up as the demand requires."
The question on the April 3 ballot will ask voters to approve establishment and maintenance of a library, funded by an annual tax.
Linda Buttron, Jefferson County clerk, said 530 registered voters live in McLouth.
Glenn Ware, mayor of McLouth since 1986, said the city has never had a library funded by a tax levy. In 2000, 4-H member, Kalila Dalton, then 15, was presented the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a national recognition for her work in reopening the city's defunct library.
Carol Brewer, owner of JL Fabric in McLouth, has pushed for the mill levy, which officially would make the library an arm of the city.
Brewer explained that if voters approve the library ballot in April, the city council would appoint residents to serve on a library board. The council would set the specific amount of the mill levy, which would be capped at 1.5 mills.
If the mill levy were set at 1.5 mills, Brewer said, she thought it would generate about $7,000 for the library.
Even with the funds, the library would likely remain in its present location, she said. More shelves would be purchased, a card catalog would be established, a part-time librarian would be hired, books would be purchased or replaced, and likely some building maintenance costs would be paid, she said.
"It's just for the basic running of the library," Brewer said.
She said the library would continue to rely on volunteer workers, as well as a paid librarian.
Weeks, who has lived in McLouth for 31 years, said he hopes that this would just be a start.
"We'd like to first establish it with the city," Weeks said. "And if others are interested, we'd like to see us having a library with the city and Union Township combined."