Our Board of Trustees has voted to place a referendum question on the ballot this Spring.
Vote Tuesday April 4th
Thus your April 4, 2017 local election ballots will contain the following question:
"Shall the limiting rate under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law for the White Oak Library District, Will County, Illinois, be increased by an additional amount equal to 0.0305% above the limiting rate for levy year 2015 and be equal to 0.226% of the equalized assessed value of the taxable property therein for levy year 2017?”
So what does all of that mean for you?
Essentially if this referendum were to pass, a $100,000 home would pay an additional $10.17 per year toward the annual library operating tax. Obviously the average home is worth more than $100,000. Taking that into account, the average home would pay between $16 and $17 more per year toward the annual library operating tax if this referendum is approved. That equates to about $1.38 more per month per household.
What Else Happens if the Referendum Passes?
With the additional funds, the White Oak Library District plans to improve library services to the public. The need for these proposed improvements is based on public feedback received from a recent survey as well as goals set forth in our Strategic Plan (which was formulated in late 2014 with input from a Citizen's Advisory Committee). The main service enhancements which we plan to provide are as follows:
In 2010 our hours were reduced from 68 hours per week to 60 hours per week at each of our branch locations. We seek not only to restore those lost hours, but also add a few more based on the feedback we received in our recent user survey. The proposed new set of hours would be:
Sunday: 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Monday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Tuesday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Wednesday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Thursday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Our services for older adults are as proven as they are wonderful, but we know more are needed. Nearly 25% of our District residents are seniors (that's about 20,000 people) and our current Outreach services need to expand to meet this growing need. Our lobby stop service is very popular as are home delivery, talking books, and our new memory kits. With a successful referendum we can extend these wonderful services to all District residents who need them.
Digital Media Lab
Our residents need a digital media lab where they and local business owners can transfer VHS to DVD, restore family photos, create cutting edge promotional materials, record oral histories and audio podcasts, film captivating videos, and so much more. Wherever these labs have been created throughout Chicagoland, they have proven to be great successes.
Are there other reasons why the referendum has been placed on the ballot?
According to District Director Scott Pointon "There’s been a huge growth in usage of our libraries, both from the standpoint of program attendance and the number of items checked out."
"Between fiscal year 2010/2011 and fiscal year 2015/2016 we saw the amount of materials checked out increase by 21%. During that same period, our program attendance increased by 176%. More and more people are taking advantage of the library's services and collections."
"This referendum will improve what we already have, and expand our services into new areas of public interest" Pointon said.