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KDL seeks one-year, non-renewable ‘gap’ millage

Sponsor brief— On the Tuesday, Aug. 6 ballot, Kent District Library is seeking a one-year, non-renewable millage of 1.1 mills to support the library system’s 2025 operations.

The millage – to address a one-year funding gap –  is at the same rate as property owners are paying now and there is no overlap with any other KDL millage. If approved, the millage will generate $27.6 million.

Kent County voters approved a 15-year renewal millage for KDL in November 2023, but the approved ballot language does not give KDL the authority to assess the new millage until December 2025, resulting in a one-year funding gap. 

“More than 90% of KDL’s operating costs are paid by millage dollars,” said KDL Executive Director Lance Werner. “An issue with the 2023 millage dates occurred inadvertently and has resulted in our need to go back to voters for a one-year millage to fill this funding gap. There’s no overlap and no double-dipping.”

KDL serves more than 440,000 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 6,400 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. 

Along with its school partnerships, KDL has provided resources to teachers and has maintained summer programs, such as its Summer Wonder reading program, for students to continue their learning. 

“KDL remains committed to fostering a lifelong love of reading, learning and critical thinking,” Werner said. “Funding from this millage is critical in order for us to continue to operate and provide resources for all in our community throughout 2025.”

KDL is a sustaining sponsor of School News Network.

Read more: 
Training on high-risk scenarios offered to bus drivers
Area districts receive EPA funding for electric buses

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Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma is a reporter covering Kent ISD, Godwin Heights, Kelloggsville, Forest Hills and Comstock Park. The salutatorian for the Hartland Public Schools class of 1985, she changed her colors from blue and maize to green and white by attending Michigan State University, where she majored in journalism. Joanne moved to the Grand Rapids area in 1989, where she started her journalism career at the Advance Newspapers. She later became the editor for On-the-Town magazine, a local arts and entertainment publication. Her eldest daughter is a nurse, working in Holland, and her youngest attends Oakland University. Both are graduates from Byron Center High School. She is a volunteer for the Van Singel Fine Arts Advisory Board and the Kent District Library. In her free time, Joanne enjoys spending time with her family, checking out local theater and keeping up with all the exchange students they have hosted through the years. Read Joanne's full bio


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