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Library Tax Levy Will Appear on Clayton Ballots

The St. Louis County Library Board of Trustees approved a tax levy ballot issue Monday. The measure will not affect citizens of Richmond Heights.

The St. Louis County Library Board of Trustees on Monday approved a tax levy ballot issue aimed at funding renovations and replacements of the library system’s aging facilities and making enhancements to programs, collections and services.

The of the library system is located in .

The measure, which will appear on the November 2012 ballot, is the first increase the library has requested of voters since 1983. It will not appear on ballots countywide, said Jennifer McBride, the system's communications manager.

"It will impact the areas served by the St. Louis County Library system," she said, "not the nine-member municipal library district."

Richmond Heights is not part of the county library system. The Richmond Heights Memorial Library is a member of the Municipal Library Consortium of St. Louis County.

Tax levy would address leaky roofs, provide for new branches

St. Louis County Library recently contracted to update the district’s Facilities Master Plan. The findings, which are posted on the library’s website, indicate the need for capital improvements in order to meet growing community needs.

The tax levy would allow SLCL to address immediate challenges to its branches including leaky roofs, outdated HVAC, and other costly problems, while offering a plan for the next 10 years, to include new branch buildings, enhanced areas for children and teens, more meeting space for community groups and more comfortable and welcoming facilities.

St. Louis County Library was the busiest library in Missouri in 2011, circulating over 12 million items.

“We’ve been thrilled by the library’s growth and the active participation of the whole community," library director Charles Pace said. "We’re excited about building a solid future for the library so we can continue to provide quality programs and resources that St. Louis County residents rely on.”

Pace said the library board is confident that, despite difficult economic times, voters will support the value of the library system to children, families and seniors and understand that buildings more than 30 years old need significant repair or replacement.

The proposed increase would cost the average homeowner in the St. Louis County Library service area around $17.10 a year based on the county’s average $158,000 home.

An independently funded tax campaign, required by law, will begin soon. More information about the ballot issue can be found at slcl.org/libraries-matter.

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