Maplewood voters will vote on Tuesday, April 4, on Proposition L, for “renovating, improving, expanding and furnishing the District’s library facilities,” from the wording on the proposition.
Library director, Ashley Bryant, sent out a letter to residents with information on the proposition, also community members are invited to a town hall regarding Proposition L to be held in the library’s meeting room on Wednesday, March 15 at 6pm.
The letter from the director:
Dear Maplewood Resident,
I am writing to inform you of Proposition L, which will be on the April 4, 2023 ballot. The proposition reads as follows:
Shall the Municipal Library District of Maplewood, Missouri, issue its general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed Three Million Dollars ($3,000,000) for the purpose of renovating, improving, expanding and furnishing the District’s library facilities?
If passed, the funds will be used by the Library to improve our historic building in the following ways:
- Preserve, repair, and maintain the existing structure, with an emphasis on waterproofing.
- Improve physical accessibility for the Library so all are welcome.
- Enhance security to ensure the safety of Library visitors.
- Complete a variety of upgrades to improve visitor experience.
- Expand the Maplewood Local History room.
- Create additional storage space.
What does this mean for taxpayers?
- The debt service levy is anticipated to be $0.114 for $100 of the assessed valuation for homeowners.
- Taxpayers are currently paying for a bond issued in 2006 used to renovate the Maplewood Municipal Pool House to the Library in its current state. The amount Maplewood residents will pay for the new bond in Proposition L is less than the debt service levy was in 2020, when it was $0.125.
- Taxpayers currently pay $0.053 for the bond issued in 2006. If passed, the new bond rate will take effect after the previous ends; the new rate will not be added on top of the current rate.
- For a house valued at $100k, residents were paying $125/year in 2020. That number recently decreased to $53/year. If the bond measure passes, taxpayers will pay approximately $114/year or $9.50/month. That would be a $61/year increase, or a little over $5 more per month, from what they are currently paying for a house valued at $100k.
The Maplewood Public Library is a welcoming and active part of the Maplewood community. Using bond funds to repair and improve our building will allow us to focus our operating budget on programming and resources.
- In fiscal year 2022, there were more than 38,000 visitors to the Library who checked out more than 80,000 items, and the Library offered 251 programs and activities for visitors of all ages. Library staff attended outreach events in Maplewood and the greater St. Louis area.
- Currently, the Library has more than 43,000 physical materials available for checkout, including a Library of Things with fishing poles, telescopes, knitting needles, and more.
- The Library’s digital offerings include 11 online databases focused on many topics, including legal documents, veterans benefits, genealogy, and homework help. More than 31,000 eBooks, audiobooks, and magazines are available through Libby, and more than 650,000 eBooks, audiobooks, music albums, TV shows, and movies are available through Hoopla. The Library’s newest resource, Kanopy, allows Maplewood cardholders access to streaming thousands of movies including documentaries, foreign films, and award-winners.
- The Library offers free internet access through WiFi and 10 public access computers.
The Maplewood Public Library and its staff won Missouri Library Association awards in 2021 and 2022.
All community members are invited to a town hall regarding Proposition L to be held in the Library’s meeting room on Wednesday, March 15th at 6pm. For more information on everything the Library offers, visit maplewoodpubliclibrary.org. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Library Director Ashley Bryant, with questions regarding Library services or how the Library intends to spend funds issued through the bond if Proposition L is passed.