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Pleasant Ridge votes to put library millage on November ballot

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published July 1, 2019


HUNTINGTON WOODS/PLEASANT RIDGE — At its most recent meeting, the Pleasant Ridge City Commission approved placing a library millage on the upcoming November ballot.

The commission approved the millage proposal at its June 11 meeting; it will ask residents to vote on the renewal of its library millage for up to 0.5 mills in the Nov. 5 election.

The entire language of the proposal reads, “Shall the City of Pleasant Ridge authorize a renewal of up to 0.5 mills for a period of five years, for years 2020 through 2024, inclusive, in excess of its Charter authorized tax rate as reduced by Section 31, Article IX, of the 1963 State Constitution, such additional millage to be used to provide library services? If approved and levied in its entirety, this millage would raise an estimated $80,106.64 in 2020.”

According to City Manager James Breuckman at the meeting, the millage will result in no change or increase in Pleasant Ridge’s millage rate.

“Now, as a practical matter, the millage we have now is a 0.5 library millage, but we’ve never levied 0.5 mills,”  he said.

The additional overhead, Breuckman said, is a safety margin in case of something like a “catastrophic collapse” resulting in decreased property values. The city then has this extra room to raise the millage.

“It gives us some extra cushion that we could levy if we really needed to, but in reality, approval of this millage will result in no net change in our millage rate whatsoever, because we would simply continue to levy the amount we need,” he said.

“I think this year we’re levying about 0.38 mils, and that’s because that’s what we need to pay the contract to Huntington Woods.”

The contract with Huntington Woods that Breuckman was referring to is for library services. Pleasant Ridge has contracted with its neighboring city for the past 15 years to allow residents to obtain Huntington Woods library cards and participate in its programs and use its facility.

It also was noted that the Huntington Woods Library is part of the Library Network, with Breuckman stating that residents can get their cards from Huntington Woods and have access to many libraries in the region, including Ferndale, Royal Oak, Southfield and Oak Park.

“We’ve been with Huntington Woods for 15 years now, and it’s been a stable partnership,” he said. “It’s been a good partnership. They reserve two spaces on their library board for Pleasant Ridge residents, so we do have representation and a voice in the oversight of their library services, and Huntington Woods government in general is a good and friendly partner to us as well.”

Likewise, Huntington Woods Library Director Anne Hage said the partnership between the two cities has been a good relationship.

“I think it’s been good for Pleasant Ridge,” she said. “They attend our programs. They use our facilities. They use our online databases. So it’s like having their own library.”