The new millage for the Fraser Public Library will be the first increase in millage funding since the library was established in 1963.

The new millage for the Fraser Public Library will be the first increase in millage funding since the library was established in 1963.

Photo by Brendan Losinski

Fraser library millage approved by voters

By: Brendan Losinski | Fraser-Clinton Chronicle | Published August 8, 2022

FRASER — On Aug. 2, Fraser residents voted to approve a new millage supporting the Fraser Public Library. It will replace a previous millage that has remained unchanged since 1963.

It was approved with 1,870 votes being cast in support of it, which was 57.6% of votes cast in the race, while 1,374 votes, or 42.4% of votes cast in the race, were opposed. The ballot measure approved the new millage to run for 20 years.

“We were ecstatic to find out the results for the library millage!” Library Director Lorena McDowell said in an email. “Not only did the residents vote in favor of the millage, but every precinct voted yes. We couldn’t ask for anything more than to see such community-wide support. Our mission now is to do our best to be good stewards for the funding and provide excellent resources for Fraser residents.”

“The library board and staff thank the Fraser voters for passing the millage approval,” Library Board President Marlene Hoeft added in the same email. “We know that the library is loved and supported by the people of Fraser and are truly grateful that even in these difficult economic times, they have chosen to sustain us with this millage.”

The millage provides funding for the Fraser Public Library through a property tax on the residents of Fraser. The library established a 1 mill rate in perpetuity when it was established. Library staff say that the funding needs of the library have increased since 1963, so the library asked the citizens of Fraser to increase the funding by one more mill.

Two mills is the maximum allowed by law for libraries in Michigan, so supporters of the millage stated that the library will be fully funded with the passage of the ballot measure.

“Seventy-five percent of this millage will be used for building issues,” Library Marketing Director Fatima Syed said in July. “Our current building is owned by the city of Fraser and is badly in need of repair. It also lacks adequate parking for us to provide the services that are expected of a modern library. Our first choice is to move to a larger building. If the millage passes but we are not able to purchase an appropriate building in Fraser, our second choice is to purchase our current building from the city and refurbish and build onto the current building.”

Syed added, “The other 25% will be used to update our technology and to provide more programming for patrons, especially the youth of Fraser.”