The 15-year operating renewal would set the millage rate at 1.1 mills, reduced from the current rate of 1.2355. The levy is projected to generate $26.6 million in its first year.
According to KDL renewal information, the lower millage rate will collectively save taxpayers $46.5 million over 15 years, and the average homeowner in the KDL service area would pay $145.75 annually for access to library services, which is about $2.80 per week. Library leaders have said there will be no reduction in services if the lower millage rate is approved by voters.
KDL services residents in 27 municipalities through 20 branches, which includes the KDL Kelloggsville branch at Kelloggsville High School. KDL also has a bookmobile, offers more than 5,600 programs and outreach efforts, and hosts services such as in-branch printer/Wi-Fi access, loanable mobile hotspots, early literacy initiatives, and the Talking Book & Braille Center. KDL also helped set-up a satellite branch at the Godfrey-Lee East Campus.
Werner said that if the renewal is not approved, KDL would probably be forced to close, since 90% of the system’s funding comes from the millage.
The current millage is through 2024, but if approved, taxpayers will see immediate savings as the KDL Board has committed to lowering the millage rate effective Jan. 1, according to KDL officials.
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