ELECTION 2020: MidPointe Library system cruises to another levy renewal victory

As the COVID-19 pandemic has closed access to public libraries across the state, voters in eastern Butler County overwhelmingly approved renewing another five-year, 0.75-mill operating levy for the MidPointe Public Library System based in Middletown.

The local library system renewal levy was approved by an unofficial, final vote of 18,248 for the levy to 6,099 against, according to the Butler County Board of Elections.

“It was a strange election season, but we’re happy with the outcome,” said Cari Hillman, the library’s community engagement director. “We’re grateful, especially in times like these, that our supporters were able to voice their opinion.”

This was the third five-year tax levy for operations in a row the library system has won, according to the county elections records. The levy was first passed in 2010 and renewed in 2015.

“Just by the percentage of votes passed for the levy, it was a nice reminder of how valued the library is in the community,” Hillman said.

Since the levy was renewed in 2015, MidPointe Library System opened branches in Monroe and Liberty Twp. and resumed the Bookmobile service after more than 30 years. She said the Bookmobile visits 26 schools, other locations and community events.

In 2018, the revenues from the library levy generated more than $3.13 million, Hillman said. She said the levy accounts for nearly 36 percent of the library system’s operating costs for services and materials.

The Butler County Auditor’s Office said the renewal levy will cost about $21.44 per year per $100,000 of property value. Deputy Auditor David Brown said the average home value is $144,000 in the MidPointe Library System district, which includes Middletown, Trenton, Monroe and West Chester, Liberty, Lemon, Madison and Wayne townships.

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