Renewal of Library Millage - ballot proposal




     Shall the existing authorized charter millage of the Charter Township of Waterford be renewed at .9118 mills (.9118¢ per $1,000.00 of taxable value) upon real property and tangible personal property within the Township for a period of ten (10) years, 2013 through 2022 inclusive, said funds to be used for the cost of operation and maintenance of the Township Public Library; and shall the Township levy such renewal in millage for said purpose, there by generating in the first year an estimated $1,760,107.15?


Ballot language approved unanimously by the Township Board at their April 23, 2012 meeting.

Millage renewal passed August 7, 2012
YES . . . . . . . . . . . . 9,144 (78.71%)
NO. . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,474 (21.29%)
Total . . . . . . . . . . 11,618


Library Millage Renewal - Questions & Answers 

 What is the Library asking for?

The Library is asking voters to renew its ten-year operating millage.


What is the millage rate?

The Library millage rate is .9118 per $1,000 of taxable value, or $44.57 per year for an average home in Waterford Township. (Use the calculators on this page to find your out-of-pocket share is for library services and a comparison of costs for these service from commercial vendors.)


Will this be an added expense for homeowners?

No. There is no cost increase for Waterford residents. They already support the Library through the millage. Voting to renew the millage will keep the millage at its current rate.


When is the election?

The Library millage renewal will be on the primary ballot on August 7, 2012.


Why does the Library need the millage?

The Library receives NO revenue from the Waterford Township general fund. This dedicated millage represents 91% of the Library’s operating budget. Without it, the continued operation of the Library could be in jeopardy.


Why do we need a public library in Waterford?

The Library helps the community navigate through the increasingly complex world of information. It supports formal, informal and distance education, lifelong learning and workforce development. Besides collecting and lending books and periodicals, the Library is an access point to digital information and materials delivered over the Internet.   


Who uses library services?

Over half of the residents of Waterford Township have library cards. Patrons range in age from 2 years to 93 years and come from every walk of life. Students in the Waterford School District use the Library for research projects, group study, and quiet study. In addition to supporting their academic achievement, students also find their next great read in our fiction collections and participate in programs such as Summer Reading Club to maintain their reading skills over the summer break. For eReader patrons, the Library offers downloadable titles for loan as well as guidance on using this technology. 


Is there a high demand for library services?

Yes, there is. On average, 31,000 items are checked out of the Library every month.  Approximately 300 new library cards are issued in the same time period. The Library handles an average of 818 visits per day. Over 40% of those visitors use library computers for Internet access. In addition to using workstations, checking out books and getting assistance with reference and online services, patrons use the Library as a community center for educational, cultural and business events such as author visits, lectures, demonstrations, workshops, group study, tutor sessions, quiet study and children’s programs.    


How will the Library use the millage funds?

The millage funds support all operations of the Library. This includes maintenance of the collection, acquisition of resources, professional staff, facility maintenance and operation, technology and such special services as the delivery of materials to homebound residents. 


Can’t the Library cut costs and reduce the millage amount?

The Library has already had to reduce costs because the funds generated by the Library millage have steadily declined since 2008.  In that time, the Library has lost over $645,000 in revenue from the millage. In response, the Library has implemented many reductions to stay within its shrinking budget, including reducing staff by 14 positions, reducing service hours by 51.8% per week (includes closing the Branch library completely and the Main library on Fridays) and reducing collection development by 70%.


If the millage is approved, will those reductions be restored?

No. The millage will only help the Library maintain its current services and offerings.  The Library will continue to provide high-quality services to its patrons through its collaborations and partnerships with state and regional library consortia and the Waterford School District to share collections and electronic resources.


What else can be done to sustain the Library?

As a careful steward of public funds, the Library has explored and will continue to explore other cost-saving measures, collaborations and ways to generate additional revenue for the benefit of its patrons and the citizens of Waterford Township while maintaining excellent service to the public.