Washington-Centerville library plans to place levy before voters in fall election

The Washington-Centerville Public Library plans to place a 3.0-mill continuous renewal levy before voters this fall.

The library’s board of trustees recently approved that option as a replacement levy passed by voters in 2011 is set to expire this year, it was announced Tuesday.

If approved Nov. 2, the continuous renewal levy would not increase taxes and has no expiration date, according to the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

The owner of a Centerville/Washington Twp. home assessed at $100,000 pays fewer than $75 annually for the library’s levy, officials said.

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“The library has operated at the current funding level for ten years building out our facilities under budget and on time,” Liz Cline, president of the library board of trustees, said in an email. “We feel that we will be able to continue to provide exceptional service to our community at this funding level.”

Survey results showed 20% Centerville/Washington Twp. families have been financially impacted by COVID-19, according Cline.

“In light of that information, the board decided a renewal was the most responsible decision,” she added.

The board of trustees oversees both the Centerville Library on West Spring Valley Road and the Woodbourne Library on Far Hills Avenue. Those sites combine for more than 60,000 square feet and had the equivalent of 58 employees last year, records show.

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The continuous renewal levy would support current operating expenses and generate about $5 million in revenue annually, according to the library.

Since the last levy was approved, the library “has added numerous new materials, provided programming opportunities for all ages, and enhanced both facilities, including the renovation and expansion of Woodbourne Library,” Cline stated in a letter from the board of trustees.

Documents to place the issue on the fall ballot had not filed documents for the levy as of Tuesday morning, according to the county.

The operating levy provides 66% of the library’s total revenue, officials said. State funding, which is “more volatile due to budget cuts and periodic downturns in the economy,” accounts for 31%, they added.

The levy approved 10 years ago won the support of more than 60% of the voters, county records show.

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