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Friday, July 26th, 2013

Communities will see library levy on ballot

By Shelley Grieshop
CELINA - Voters in the Celina, St. Henry and Marion Local school districts, Union Township and the village of Mendon will be asked in November to approve a 0.5-mill renewal levy to support the county's library system.
Mercer County Commissioners on Thursday approved action to place the five-year, renewal levy on the Nov. 5 ballot. If passed, it would collect $276,622 annually and cost an owner of a $100,000 home approximately $17.50 per year in taxes.
Mercer County District Public Library Director Austin R. Schneider said the levy is a renewal of the one passed by voters in November 2009, which replaced the 25 percent funding cut by the state.
"The levy pays for 25 percent of every library function, staff and utilities," he said.
The levy voters approved in 2009 was the first one ever requested since the library became a legal entity in 1907. It passed with 67.8 percent of the vote.
Prior to the passing of the levy in 2009, the libraries in Celina, Maria Stein, St. Henry and Mendon were forced to decrease hours, reduce staff time and make other cuts due to the loss of state funds. After the levy was approved, many of the suspended services and hours were restored.
A new law passed in Ohio Gov. John Kasich's two-year budget bill that removes the state's 12.5 percent rollback will not affect the library's proposed renewal levy. The law only takes away the state's subsidy for new and replacement levies beginning in 2014.
Additional online story on this date
CELINA - The sights and smells of vendors that previously filled the downtown area during the annual Celina Lake Festival were replaced with normal traffic along Main Street this morning. [More]
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