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Hopkins District Library

Hopkins District Library Upcoming August 7th Millage Information

Are you wondering why do we need a millage? What does the library do for me? What happens if the millage fails? Well, read below to find out more! And please come in, call or email us with questions.

Frequently Asked Questions About
the Library’s Operating Millage Proposal for

0.6 Mills in Perpetuity
August 7th, 2012

How much will the millage cost?
On a home with a taxable value of $50,000, a millage of .6 mills will cost around $30 per year (about the cost of 1 new released book).  Hopkins township residents currently pay 0.5 mills in support for the library, and so the new millage will mean an increase of 0.1 of a mill or approximately $5 per year on a home with a taxable value of $50,000. (The average taxable value for parcels in our district is $50,000.)
Why is the Library seeking a millage now?

Three reasons:
1.      It is required by the District Library Agreement signed in 2011 by the Village of Hopkins, Hopkins Township, Monterey Township, and Hopkins School District.  According to the terms of the District Library Agreement, the Library must pass an operating millage by November 30, 2013 or the District Agreement will expire on December 31, 2013.   
2.      For the past several years, the Library has been using its reserve funds to provide the same excellent level of library services you have become accustom to.  This is no longer possible.
3.      Passing the millage August 7th is fundamental to the continuation of the library.   With our current financial resources, we will not be able to continue as you currently know us without this millage.  And nearly every library in Allegan County already has at least one millage in perpetuity. 

What will happen if the operating millage is approved?
The approval of the millage will allow the Library to:
1.      Continue full Library Services for Monterey and Watson Townships:  The residents of the Village of Hopkins, Hopkins Township, Monterey Township and Watson Township residents, except those within the Allegan School District, within the Hopkins School District will continue to be eligible for a free full-service library card.  A full-service card allows card holders to borrow materials from our Library’s 14,000 item collection, to use interlibrary loan to borrow from the over 2 million items held by other libraries in the Lakeland Library Cooperative (LLC), and borrow materials from individual LLC libraries by visiting them in person.
2.      Renew the Library:  With the millage approved, the library will be able to continue to offer new and expanded services to you.  We will be able to fund new programs and classes for all ages, teach new skills classes for all ages, and provide more after school programming.  And continue to provide you with current books, audio books, DVDs, read alongs, and digital material.

What happens if the operating millage proposal is not approved?
1.      Loss of library services:   If the operating millage is not approved, the District Library Agreement will terminate on December 31, 2013; and the Hopkins District Library will return to being a village library.  On January 1, 2014, Monterey and Watson township residents now in the Library District will no longer be eligible for full service library cards usable at the Hopkins Library as well as at any library in the Lakeland Cooperative.  Because the Village and Township of Hopkins levy almost .5 mills tax for support of the Library, village and township residents will continue to be entitled to full-service library cards.
2.      Reduced hours and services:  With the District Agreement terminated, revenues coming to the Library will be greatly reduced.  In order to balance its budget, the Library will have to reduce its expenses by cutting the number of days it is open from 5 days (37 hours) a week to 2-3 days (20 hours) a week.  Fewer staff members and open hours will mean that Library programs will also have to be discontinued.

The ballot proposal states that some money from the Library millage will be “captured.”  Why?
The workings of the “capture” by the Village of Hopkins Downtown Development Authority (DDA) listed in the millage proposal are difficult to explain briefly, but here is the short version. The “capture” applies only to the millage levied within the DDA district in the Village of Hopkins.  All of the tax revenue raised in the townships by the millage will go to the Library.  Money that is captured will go to the Hopkins Village DDA.
How is the Library funded now?
Local governments:  In addition to the library operating millage the Township of Hopkins currently levies, Monterey Township pays a $3000 flat rate and the library contract with Watson Township expired in 2009 and has not been renewed.  As a result, residents of Watson Township do not currently support the library monetarily. 

Penal fines: The amount of money the Library receives from penal fines is determined by how much money is collected by the county for civil infractions.  This money is distributed by the county treasurer on a per capita basis at the direction of the Library of Michigan.  The amount of money distributed to libraries in Allegan County varies from year to year. 

State Aid: The amount of state aid is set during the budget process each year and is distributed on a per capita basis.  In 2010, state aid to libraries was reduced by 40% to less than 18¢ per capita.  In 2011 the library received about $1800 in state aid as a village library. 

Donations: The amount of donations the library receives is set by you. These donations help us afford to have better programs, buy additional materials, and provide the little things (like coffee, pens, paper) which we otherwise would not be able to budget for.