St. Mary Parish Library: Tax on Aug. 15 ballot is a renewal not a new tax
The chairperson of the library board submitted this letter:
As the Chairperson for the St. Mary Parish Library Board of Control, I believe it is very important that our patrons understand the upcoming tax election. On Saturday, August 15, 2020 voters in St. Mary Parish, excluding Morgan City, will be asked to vote on a proposition with will RENEW the existing 5.72 mills currently being collected to support our libraries. This tax is the funding source for all operations, supplies, maintenance and improvements for all seven of the existing library facilities. It is extremely important for voters to understand that this is a RENEWAL and not an increase nor a new tax. The funds collected are used for everyday operations and used to maintain the libraries, as well as make it possible for the Board of Control, to continue to make improvements to the existing buildings and facilities that are used by the patrons.
In 1981, voters originally elected to fund this tax. Since that time, the tax has been renewed, most recently in 2010. The current renewal is on the ballot for another 10-year term, which would be set to expire in 2030. Since the original tax was placed in effect, the St. Mary Parish Library system has added four new libraries, and has completed a major renovation project at the Main Library headquartered in Franklin. Currently, we are working on a renovation/expansion project at the Berwick Branch Library and have plans to assess and evaluate the Centerville Branch, and make interior improvements as necessary in Amelia, Bayou Vista and West End locations.
I understand this has been a very challenging year for all our patrons. Our staff has been challenged through all of this just as much as our patrons, but they have continued the services as they have been allowed and will continue to provide the services that you have come to expect from them as long as we have the funding. Without the positive vote of the community in support of this renewal, we will not be able to continue the services you have come to expect from us, nor will we be able to upgrade and/or renovate the facilities to match the changing times.
I humbly ask that you vote YES for the St. Mary Parish Library Maintenance and Operational RENEWAL. Thank you.
Cherie Hidalgo Laiche
St. Mary Parish Library Board of Control