MidPointe Library System seeking a renewal levy in 2020

Middletown and eastern Butler County voters will have at least one item to consider on the March 2020 primary ballot.

The MidPointe Library System’s Board of Trustees will be seeking to place a five-year, 0.75-mill renewal levy on the ballot. The library’s board has requested Middletown City Council, which serves as its taxing authority, to place the renewal levy on the ballot because the library board is unable to put a tax levy request directly to voters.

Voters in the MidPointe Library system approved a five-year tax levy for operations in 2010 and in 2015.

“This will maintain the current operating services and materials, technical resources for users and sustain programs for all age groups,” said Cari Hillman, library community engagement director. “It provides nearly 36 percent of the MidPointe Library Systems operating costs and is essential to keep the library strong.”

In 2018, the revenues from the library levy generated more than $3.13 million, Hillman said.

Since the levy was renewed in 2015, MidPointe Library System opened new 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 local events.

“Approval of the levy will keep us strong and allow for sustained expansion in growing communities and make sure all locations have the services that our patrons deserve,” she said.

David Brown, Butler County deputy auditor, said the levy would cost about $21.44 per year per $100,000 of property value. He 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.

The MidPointe Library System serves a population of almost 200,000 people and offers a collection of nearly half a million materials at locations in downtown Middletown, Liberty Twp., Monroe, Trenton and West Chester, as well as a bookmobile. In 2018, the library system physically circulated more than 1.96 million items and 305,784 digital items and had 5,747 programs.

Middletown council heard a first reading at its Tuesday meeting and will give final consideration and approval at its Dec. 3 meeting. Council will be asked to approve the levy request as an emergency resolution so that it can be submitted to meet the Butler County Board of Elections deadline of Dec. 18.

The library board approved resolution seeking the levy renewal on Oct. 29.

2018 MidPointe Library System Statistics

Total physical circulation: 1,964,236 items

Total digital circulation: 305,784 items

Total programs: 5,747 (286% increase)

Physical Circulation at MidPointe Library Middletown: 474,192

Physical Circulation at MidPointe Library West Chester: 1,204,124

Physical Circulation at MidPointe Library Trenton: 116,122

Physical Circulation at MidPointe Library Monroe: 71,768

Physical Circulation at MidPointe Library Liberty: 16,730 (after opening November 2, 2018)

Physical Circulation at MidPointe Library on Wheels (Outreach and Bookmobile): 81,300

Source: MidPointe Library System

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