Library looking to reduce levies

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown-Mahoning County library system could take action that will mean changes for every taxpayer in Mahoning County.

There are currently two library levies in place, 1-mill and 1.8-mills. Both are set to expire.

Board members gathered Tuesday to discuss the levies and how they will proceed for the upcoming election.

“It is time for those to go on the ballot for renewal,” said Executive Director Heidi Daniel. “We had to discuss the amount we would put on the ballot.”

The board is considering asking for a tax reduction in the next general election. That reduction would mean about $20 less for a typical $100,000 home.

The extra money generated from the levies was used for capital expenses, which Daniel said the library doesn’t need any more.

The board is also considering a proposal to close the West Library building and open a new branch in Mill Creek Park.

“It needs extensive repairs, particularly to the roof. The original building was built in 1920,” said Daniel. “An addition was added in the 60s. The way the addition was added makes the building not handicap accessible.”

Board members sought an architect’s advice on the best way to move forward. The current site on Mahoning Avenue could be redeveloped or the board could choose a new location. A deal is already in the works with Mill Creek Park to take over the old Warming House at the Wick Recreation Area.

“The library would enter an agreement with Mill Creek Park to utilize the building rent free,” said Daniel. “We would no longer be responsible for things we are currently responsible for in our own building like exterior maintenance.”

A new West Side library would also bring improvements in technology and services that are not possible at the current location, Daniel said.

Board members could make a final decision at a public meeting scheduled for Thursday at 3:30 the Poland Library, 311 S. Main St.

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