A property levy for the Plain City Public Library will appear on the ballot this November.
Voters will be asked to replace the current .75-mill levy, and approve an additional .75 mill increase, library Director Chris Long shared with members of Plain City Village Council Monday evening, July 27. The total millage requested will be 1.5 mills for five years.
Long said the levy, if approved, would generate about $522,000 annually.
Currently, the owner of a home valued at $100,000 pays $16.84 annually, according to the Madison County Auditor’s Office. If the levy is approved, that will increase to $52.50.
All voters in the Jonathan Alder Local School District — not just Plain City residents — will vote on the issue. The library serves about 12,000 residents, and 11,000 are card holders, she said.
The additional millage is needed due to state budget cuts, Long said.
In 2007, the library received about $450,000 in annual state funding. In 2014, that figure dropped to about $337,000.
“Our costs are rising and our funding is going down,” she said.
As a result in the funding decrease, the library was forced to cut programs and hours, including closing on Fridays.
The additional millage will allow the library to reinstate those programs and hours, and resume Friday operations.
In other business at Monday’s meeting, Officer Tharon Prather of the police department was promoted to sergeant, as recommended by newly appointed chief Dale McKee. McKee had served as a sergeant since 2004.
Prather has been with the department for 12 years. He has served as the field training officer for new recruits and a K9 handler. Council approved his salary, at the one-year sergeant level, at a rate of $50,377 annually. The vote was unanimous, with council member Leslie Perkins abstaining.
McKee said his next action will be to hire a full-time officer.
Also on Monday:
• Council approved decreasing the speed limit from 35 mph to 25 mph on North Chillicothe Street between State Route 161 and U.S. Route 42. Previously, the speed limit was 25 mph in the business district, and 35 mph in the residential area. Some residents have complained of speeding vehicles, McKee said.
• Kevin Vaughn, village administrator, reported that Pastime Park is “in poor condition” following the Miami Valley Steam Threshers Show, which took place July 16-19. He said he plans to address the concerns with the association. Vaughn also reported water line breaks at Main and Chillicothe streets, as well as at the park, have been successfully repaired.
• Council entered into an executive session to discuss compensation of a public employee. No action was taken.
Reach Andrea McKinney at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619, and on Twitter @AndeeWrites.
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