The Archbold Community Library Board of Trustees is hoping voters will approve a new levy Nov. 7 that will purchase the facility a badly-needed roof.
The additional 1.2-mill operating levy being placed on the ballot would generate $262,000 annually for five years, and give the library a necessary financial boost, Director Joyce Klingelsmith said. With the increase in revenue the library could put enough aside within two years to replace the aged roof.
The new levy would rescind a current five-year, seven-tenths mill levy set to expire in 2019. That levy generates $135,000 annually, not enough to cover all of the library’s needs.
And Klingelsmith said it’s no longer realistic to expect sufficient help from state funding, which continues to fluctuate. The library was told to expect $240,000 this year from Ohio, but that amount has fallen behind about four percent. Next year, the total drops to $231,000 or less.
In 2016, the state gave the library $247,000, which was the equivalent of slightly less than what the facility received in 1998.
“We’re not seeing increases from the state. It’s caused more of a burden to be placed on the community to support services,” Klingelsmith said.
She said the main reason for seeking the increase “is we need to replace the roof on the library and don’t have the money to do that. We just don’t have a lot of extra money.”
The roof is the original from when the building was constructed in 1995. Klingelsmith said with every bout of wind or bad weather it loses more shingles.
“We don’t have enough money to replace the roof with current levy and state money combined,” she said. “We have basically tried to hold the line from year to year…but when your funds keep dropping you can’t do that. We have tried to work with the money we have…we’ve tried to adjust out of respect for the community that supports us. So because of that we haven’t been able to build up financial reserves.”
At the rate the roof is deteriorating it won’t hold up beyond the time the current levy expires in two years, Klingelsmith said.
“We decided to do it now, before the present levy expires, because we felt that we could not wait that long for the roof,” she said.
Klingelsmith said the added revenue would also permit other maintenance projects currently on hold, and would help replace equipment as needed, such as heating and cooling units.
Board of Trustees Vice President Jed Grisez said the importance of passing the additional levy can’t be overstated.
“In order to continue to give our patrons the quality service they’re used to, we need to have more stable funding, and this is really the only way for us to do that,” he said. “We really don’t know what kind of funding we’re getting from the state anymore. It’s really erratic.”
He said the trustees avoid asking for money when it’s not necessary, “but it’s very important to us to be able to pass this levy. We want to be good stewards of the library. And the Archbold community in the past has been very generous when we do ask for things that we truly need.”
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.