Dear Readers, Recently, I received this letter from the folks that are working to improve our library. The original Maplewood Pool building, now home to our library, is one of the most important historic buildings in our town.
March 1, 2023
On behalf of the Maplewood Library Preservation campaign, we’re asking you to vote Yes on Proposition L in the April 4th election.
The Maplewood Public Library’s home was originally built in 1938 by the WPA to be the changing facility for the Maplewood Pool. This beautiful, historic building became the library’s home in 2007. It is one of our community’s architectural jewels, but the aging structure has persistent water problems that urgently need to be addressed. There are also a number of other needs associated with maintaining the 85-year-old building and continuing to make it the most welcoming library in St. Louis.
If you help us pass Prop L on April 4, the Maplewood Public Library will use the funds to:
- Waterproof the facility (Because they’ve discovered through unfortunate experience that books become less useful when they’re wet.)
- Preserve and maintain the historic building
- Improve physical access
- Enhance security
- Improve patron experience
- Expand the Maplewood History Room
- Create needed storage
Passing Prop L would allow the Maplewood Public Library to issue up to three million dollars in bonds for repairs and upgrades to the historic library building. The debt service levy is anticipated to be $0.114 per $100 of the assessed valuation for homeowners
(translating to an increase of $5 per month for a $100,000 home in Maplewood compared to 2022); this is less than the debt service levy was in 2014–2020 for the bond passed to finance the library’s move into the building, when it ranged from $0.125 to $0.175 per $100 of the assessed valuation. Prop L would allow the new bond to begin just after the last bond is paid off, minimizing the impact on the taxpayers.
With this investment, the library could make critical repairs to the building, preserving it for generations of curious minds. Our wonderful library has served our community for 88 years, and it offers access to 43,000 physical materials, more than 650,000 digital items, 11 online databases, a library of things (fishing poles, telescopes, knitting needles, crochet hooks, and more), and a variety of programs (more than 250 programs were offered last year).
Please be sure to vote on Tuesday, April 4, and please vote Yes on Proposition L to preserve this historic building as the home of the Maplewood Public Library for decades to come.
The Maplewood Library Preservation Committee
Tim Alexander Gina LaRose
Martin Brenner Evan Loveless
Tamara Durham Dawn Piehl
Becky Foster Rachel Silverberg
Charlie Hinderliter Joyce Kremer
Paid for by Maplewood Library Preservation, Tim Alexander, Treasurer
Please vote Yes on Proposition L on April 4th.
Doug Houser March 10, 2023
I will gladly vote for this proposition, and pay my share! The Maplewood Library, and the pool building hold a lot of memories for us “old timers” who have spent many happy hours enjoying both. I hope we are able to leave behind us the opportunity for more generations to appreciate the beauty and the sense of community and history found within.
You put that very well, Jill. I feel the same way. Thank you for your comment.
So on what bill do I pay this monthly? $5 per month on a $100,000 home means $60 for the year. For a $200,000 home that means $120. My real estate tax is now over $3000 for a 2-bedroom bungalow and I struggle to come up with the money every year. We’ve had a few rough years and I work in the arts. I will be forced to vote no unless this is on some sort of bill like sewer where I’d pay it monthly. Otherwise, some other tax needs to come down by the same amount.
I don’t know for sure, Gary Lee. I urge you to contact one of these folks on the committee or call the library. I have met you. I know you to be a good fellow. I hope it will work out so you will be able to support this effort. If it just doesn’t, we understand. Thank you for your honest inquiry.
Hi! I too, have financial concerns. Always in favor of community improvement, Always look for ways to maintain that interest. These words in this proposal made me hopeful for approval on the financial side: The old bond would expire before this one would pick up…and is LOWER. You would not be paying more, as I understand it.
The only way to save that building is to repair it and we have no other public buildings to move it to…build new? That would be worse, both cost and location.
All very good points, Pickett. Thank you for your input.
This tax would be due annually and paid in the same way you pay your property taxes currently. As Pickett notes below, and is noted in the text, there won’t be a notable INCREASE in your taxes if this proposition passes, as a 2006 bond will be paid off as the new one rolls on. In fact, the debt service payments toward the library tax will on fact be *lower* than they were from 2016-2020.
If you’re concerned about the valuation of your home, there is an opportunity to appeal through the county this spring (the assessment process happens every other year). Keep an eye out on the Mayor’s website for more information on the appeal process: Nikylan.com
Hope that is helpful 🙂