MINIER - Residents in and around Minier could see better library offerings and service if voters approve creating a library district, supporters of a Nov. 7 referendum say.
Currently, only residents in Minier pay taxes to support the H.A. Peine Library. Voters will be asked to approve creating a library district that would encompass both the village and the surrounding Little Mackinaw Township.
While Minier residents wouldn't see a tax increase, taking in the rest of the township would widen the tax base, library board President Gail Peine said.
"Half of our annual operating budget goes to running the library," Peine said. "By adding on Little Mackinaw, that would give us more tax monies to work with."
Residents of the township would get free library cards if they join the district. Now, residents outside Minier pay $49 a year for a card.
Supporters are optimistic about the referendum despite the fact that a similar measure was defeated in 2000.
That effort encompassed land beyond Little Mackinaw Township. When some areas voted down the proposal, voters in the township supported it, Peine said.
"People outside of the district did support it before, and it's not like we're asking for $100 million to build a new facility, so we're hopeful this time," Peine said. "Incorporating Little Mackinaw into our district would really give us some breathing space in our annual budget."
While the extra money would help the library improve its financial picture in the short term, it could help pay for remodeling in the future, she said.
Librarian Denise Litwiller said the library last year saw 7,810 patrons attending various functions or checking out materials. In addition to books and magazines, the library offers compact discs, DVDs, a fax machine, copy machine and two Internet computers for public use.
The library also has a microfilm machine with newspapers dating back to 1855.
"For being such a small library, we truly have everything," Litwiller said. "A library is always an asset to a small town like ours, of around 1,200 people."