Eastpointe library renewal millage vote Nov. 2

By: Maria Allard | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published October 8, 2021

 The 2021 Eastpointe Memorial Library millage renewal will be on the Nov. 2 ballot in the general election.

The 2021 Eastpointe Memorial Library millage renewal will be on the Nov. 2 ballot in the general election.

File photo by Sean Work

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EASTPOINTE — When Eastpointe residents head to the polls in the general election Nov. 2, one issue they will vote on is the 2021 library millage renewal.

The library millage is for five years. It is not a new tax, but an existing millage. If the renewal passes, it will raise approximately $527,111 annually for the next five years.

“We just hope to continue to serve our residents by offering different services at the library,” Eastpointe Memorial Library Director Suzanne Todd said. “We’re hoping people see us as a valued resource. We’re still a place to go where people can work quietly. If the renewal doesn’t pass, it would affect our budget.”

If it passes, the millage would be renewed in an amount not to exceed 1 mill on the taxable value of all taxable property in Eastpointe beginning with the 2022 levy for the next five years. One mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of taxable value.

If the renewal passes, more library services will be added, including guest speakers, the acquisition of library materials, the addition of video games available for check out, more staff to assist patrons and the expansion of program offerings. Library staff also have plans to add two study rooms.

“It will be a great addition where people can collaborate and talk quietly,” Todd said.

Millage renewal information, including how much residents will pay if the tax continues, can be found under the frequently asked questions near the bottom of the library’s website, which can be accessed through the city’s website at www.cityofeastpointe.net. Click on the Eastpointe Memorial Library tab. For example, a home with a taxable value of $50,000 will pay about $50 a year to support the library.

In the last fiscal year, more than 54,000 people visited the library. In addition, over 12,000 adults, children and teens visited the library’s website, visited its Facebook page and participated in programs in the library and virtually.    

The library closed temporarily in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, but staff continued to work full-time to be ready when the library reopened. Reading materials also were delivered during that time. According to Todd, the library reopened to the public June 22, 2020. In 2020, the library circulated more than 80,000 items, including books, magazines, DVDs and music.

“During the darkest days of the pandemic when the library was closed, our library was delivering books to the porches of our patrons,” Eastpointe Friends of the Library President Nancy Sarmaga said in a prepared statement. “The library went above and beyond to help our library patrons during this difficult time.”

In 2020, library staff added notary public services. A designated, trained staff member is now authorized to notarize documents. Another new service is faxing.

“People were asking for it,” Todd said. “It’s been very well received by the community.”

Library employees also are considering loaning out nontraditional items, including gardening tools, baking pans, candy molds, board games and camping equipment. Staff members are still deciding on which video game company or companies the library will use when bringing in video games that patrons can check out. They might send out a survey to get a feel for what the public prefers.

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