The millage requested by the Westland Library would fund programs and operations

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Taxpayers’ money makes up about half of the Westland Public Library’s $ 3.6 million budget.

On August 3, the library will urge voters to maintain this cash flow.

The proposed 10-year millage rate of 0.85 will raise approximately $ 1.4 million in the first year if approved. Residents are currently paying .975 millage, which is phasing out this year, which means approval for homeowners would still result in a lower tax rate. A grinder is equal to $ 1 for every $ 1,000 in taxable value of a property.

Jennifer Roth, the library director, said the amount would be used for operating expenses such as paying staff, running programs, and buying books. The library, like many others, saved some money during the pandemic-related closings and has since returned to normal operations.

“We went on vacation and people got unemployed while we were closed,” said Roth. “We actually managed to save some money during our closure because we didn’t order books, the library wasn’t open, and we were saving on electricity and we weren’t doing any programs.”

The money saved over the past few years has left the library with a fund balance of approximately $ 4.5 million. Roth said most of these savings will go towards facility improvements. The library will host an open house on August 11 from 4 to 7 p.m. on building improvements.

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“We find that a lot of repairs have been neglected,” she said.

We have an original roof so it’s 27 years old. We have windows that are leaking and we have carpets that have never been replaced. This building was built for four computers, and now we have over 60.

                                                                                                                            Westland Library Director Jennifer Ruth is reading a book at the William P. Faust Public Library on July 19, 2021.

“These improvements that need to be made will be a large part of that fund balance.”

Should voters choose not to hand out the Millage, Roth said the library would bring it back before voters in November. Should it fail again, the library would cut costs.

“We would have to cut in all areas,” said Roth. “We would have to cut working hours, services, etc. You would feel that. You would definitely notice a difference. “

Voters will also narrow the fields for mayor and council on August 3rd. The four candidates running for mayor will be narrowed to two and the twelve candidates for council will be narrowed to eight.

Contact reporter Shelby Tankersley at [email protected] or 248-305-0448. Follow her on Twitter @shelby_tankk.

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