Fruitport District Library Q & A – Why Do We Need a Library Millage?

Fruitport District Library
47 Park Street
Fruitport, MI 49415
231 366-6107

Q. Will approving this library millage increase my taxes?

A. No, Fruitport residents have been paying .75 mills for library services since 2006. The current millage began December 2016 and expires December 2018. The November 2018 millage proposal will ask for the same .75 mills (not new – not additional) from 2019-2028.

Q. What is the library millage for?

A. The millage will pay for the general operation of the Fruitport District Library, including materials, technology, staff, programs, and building and grounds maintenance. Also, more digital projects and literacy programs for adults and children. We have budgeted for a savings capital project for handicap accessibility.

Fruitport Township residents were with the Muskegon Areas District Library from 2006-2016. We paid .75 mills annually for library operations. In 2015 we voted to separate from the MADL and begin establishing our own library. In May 2016 we voted to approve a “new” “additional” millage of .75 for the operation of the Fruitport library for three years beginning December 2016 through December 2018. On December 31, 2016 the agreement with the MADL ended and we began establishing a Fruitport Library . In January, February and March of 2017 we contracted with Spring Lake Library so our residents would continue to receive full services until the Fruitport Library was ready for operation. In April 2017 Fruitport Library opened with the funds from the .75 millage collected from winter taxes. We were able to purchase 13,600 books two years and newer as required in order to be a member of Lakeland Library.

Q. The library proposal says it’s a “new” “additional” millage? Can you explain this?

A. The ballot language is what the library attorney and the Library of Michigan legal counsel says we are required to have. The Library Board wanted to simply say library renewal, as we believe it is, but the library attorney states that in order to be legal, the language must say “new” and “additional”. It may be because of the separation from MADL.

Q. What happens to the library now that the millage failed?

A. Fruitport District Library Board has decide to put the proposal on the November 6, 2018 ballot for the residents to consider again. If it fails, there will be no funds for library operation and we will have to close it down.

Q. The current library .75 millage is for how long?

A. The current millage of .75 was a three year millage 2016 -2018 and expires this year. The “new” millage will be from 2019-2028 at the same .75 mills that we have always paid.

Q. What would we be paying for library services if we were still with the MADL?

A. The current MADL millage is 1.25 mills for ten (10) years.

Q. What good is the library?

A. We have issued 1567 library cards as of June 2018. In the summer of 2018 we scheduled 8 events during the Summer Reading Program.

Q. What services does the library provide?

A. The Board of Directors just approved the Hoopla Program.
*Inexpensive printing and faxing services
*Free access to public computers and Wi-Fi
*Access to over 26,000 individual items in-house
*Access to library books from libraries across the state of Michigan, including Spring Lake District Library and other Lakeland Library Cooperative libraries
*Ability to use your library card at any library in West Michigan
*Access to electronic books through the Overdrive Program
*Music & Movies with additional information through Hoopla (coming soon)
*SCOLA for different language learning and information
*Mel Cat
*Certified Library Director, Certified Children’s Librarian and Administrative Assistant Staff who provide courteous customer service
*Weekly children’s programming

Q. How much does the Library Board of Directors get paid?

A. In the past only the secretary and treasurer received compensation of $45/per monthly meeting. Since the formation of the Fruitport District Library, January 2017, no one on the Board has received compensation for their service.