1. Why is there an operating levy on the ballot?
In March of 2004, to address dramatic cuts in state funding for public libraries, we asked for and received the voters’ generous support for a first-ever 1.0 mill operating levy. Eight years ago, voters approved a replacement 1 mill plus an additional .5 mill. In 2012, voters approved the renewal of the 1.5 mill overwhelmingly. The current levy will expire at the end of 2016.
During the past months, the Way Library Board of Trustees has studied our budget and looked at the current status of state support. The board determined that we must ask for additional operating funds if we are to continue the levels of service we now provide. On March 15, 2016, we will ask the voters to approve a renewal of the 1.5 mill and ask for an additional .4 mill which equates to 1.9 mill.
Over the past 15 years, funding for libraries has decreased or remained flat, putting our funding from the state at close to 1996 levels. The state legislature approved a slight temporary increase of .4% in funding for libraries in the 2016-2017 biennium budget, for which we are grateful. This equates to approximately $25,000 per year for Way Library, which makes our budget still essentially flat.
2. How much is the levy?
This is a 1.9-mill levy renewing the 1.5-mill levy due to expire in December 2016, and adding an additional .4 mills. It will provide an estimated $1,130,802.34 per year for the Library.
3. What is the current Way Library budget?
The General Operating Budget for 2016 is $1,967,975.61.
4. How much will the levy cost and how many years will I have to pay for it?
The owner of a $200,000 home will pay $9.89 per month, up from $7.56 per month with the current levy. The new levy will begin January 2017 and continue for four years.
5. When is the vote? And how will the ballot be worded?
The vote will be held on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.. The voters will vote “for” the levy or “against” the levy.
6. Why does the library need this operating levy?
- To protect current levels of service, and increase open hours on our busiest days
- To raise our materials budget which has been flat for ten years
- To increase staff hours to support: higher demand for meeting rooms, programming support and upkeep
- To protect the public’s investment by preserving the safety and integrity of our heavily-used facility for the next generation
- To keep the library on pace with advances in technology
- The current levy expires in December 2016
7. How many people currently work at Way Library?
As of December 31, 2015, the library has 36 staff members: 18 full-time and 18 part-time, which equals 26.4 full-time equivalent (FTE).
8. How is the Library governed?
A seven-member Board of Trustees governs Way Library. The Mayor appoints the trustees for a term of four years. The City of Perrysburg has set a 2-term limit for each trustee. The current members of the Way Library Board of Trustees are:
Carol Russel, Joan Foster, David Munger, John Hayward, Peter Casey III, William Davis and Megan Uday.
9. How often does the Library Board meet and are they paid?
The Board meets on the 4th Tuesday of the month (except in July and August) at 6:00 p.m. in the meeting rooms of the Library. Occasionally, there are special meetings or the regular meeting date must be changed because of a holiday. The public is always advised of any changes. Library trustees are not paid for their service on the board.
10. What has the library done to control expenditures?
The library has taken many steps to control costs, including: obtaining a group rating for health insurance; placing lights on timers; joining the SEO (Serving Every Ohioan) consortium of 92 Ohio libraries in more than 224 locations which provides 8 million items for our patrons to inter-loan so we are able to purchase fewer multiple copies of popular titles; automating our overdue/courtesy/hold notices which eliminates printing and mailing of overdue notices; contracting with a collection agency; utilizing volunteers of all ages and thereby freeing up staff for other duties; purchasing materials at a discount through government pricing; creating WoodLink, comprised of all eight Wood County libraries, for cooperation on activities and group purchasing; sending our newsletters electronically; cross-training staff members for multi-tasking in many areas; purchasing a self-check unit for patron use which has allowed our staff numbers to remain steady; using our own resources and talent and outsourcing only when absolutely necessary.
In addition, the Way Public Library Foundation and Friends supports much of our programming schedule and contributes to our collections. The library has made a concerted effort to build the Foundation and Friends and to reach out to patrons in Perrysburg Township for support in our fund-raising and membership drives.
11. What is the most important thing the library staff would like the community to know about the library?
We have something for everyone. No matter what phase of life you are in – toddler, student, young parent, middle age or senior - we can provide materials to help meet your informational or recreational needs. Way Library is dedicated to service.
12. What is the cost of this levy for homeowners?
The cost of the levy for homeowners is illustrated in the following examples:
|For the owner of a $200,000 home:|
|2013 Tax Bill|
|Current 1.5 mill levy||$7.56/mo|
|Library Bond (1999)||$8.07/mo|
|2015 Tax Bill|
|Current 1.5 mill levy||$7.56/mo|
|Library Bond (paid off early)*||$0.00/mo|
|2017 Tax Bill (with passage of levy)|
|Current 1.5 mill levy renewal||$7.56/mo|
|Increase of .4 mill||$2.33/mo|
*The 1999 bond issue was paid off twelve years early due to wise fiscal management by city finance officials
Contact Janel Haas, Director at 419-874-3135 ext. 102
Way Public Library
101 E. Indiana Ave.
Perrysburg, OH 43551