Editorial: Clarifying the Sugar Grove Public Library limited rate increase referendum

By on March 13, 2014

It came to our attention recently that there was a bit of confusion regarding our recent coverage of the Sugar Grove Public Library limited rate increase referendum. Because it’s our mission to bring you the clearest and most accurate information possible—especially the information you use in the voting booth on Election Day—we’d like to take an opportunity here to revisit and clearly define the limited rate increase item.

The Sugar Grove Public Library hopes to increase its limiting rate an additional $2.14 per month, or $25 more per year (for a home valued at $100,000), through a referendum on the March 18 ballot. The library needs additional funds to maintain the facility and grounds, support a number of current programs, departments and new programs it would like to add. The additional money would help the library afford the purchase of more materials in physical and downloadable formats, as well as the purchase of new computers to replace aging ones.

The library has attempted to raise the limiting rate in the past to no avail. The one-time increase would provide adequate funding to operate and maintain the library in its larger facility now and into the future.

“If the limiting rate passed during the referendum, we could have the library open every day with consistent hours,” said Library Director Carol Dolin. “We want to avoid being open some mornings and some evenings so people can remember when we are open more easily.”

The library staff is concerned with the library’s current budget.

“We need more funding to be open more hours, to provide more physical and downloadable materials, and to care for the building,” Dolin said. “We will survey the public to get input on how to prioritize those areas of the budget. Finally, with adequate funding, we may be able to refinance the building bonds to save tax payers money as we pay off the debt.”

The Sugar Grove library currently has the lowest limiting rate in the area, with Kaneville, Oswego, Elburn, Aurora and Batavia all possessing higher rates. With a vast amount of services offered, the library staff hopes that the public will vote to pass the referendum to ensure that the library can continue to offer a large variety of programs and materials.

Should the referendum pass, the library staff will survey the public to understand their needs and expectations for library hours, programs and materials.