Library levy in limbo

The plot line may be creeping along for Crockery Township residents who want access to Spring Lake District Library services, but no one knows how the story will end.
Marie Havenga
Nov 25, 2013


Township Supervisor Leon Stille said he has met with library board representatives and is waiting on an estimate of how much it would cost for township residents to use library services. At that point, Stille said the board could better determine if a millage proposal to cover library services is feasible.

Library Director Claire Sheridan said the library board is still researching and figuring out financial scenarios.

“We're in the process of doing a lot of analysis,” she said.

A grassroots group has asked that a proposal be put before voters next year, but timing could be everything. Stille said the township's current fire department millage expires at the end of 2014 and the Township Board likely will seek its renewal to keep from depleting the township's general fund.

The supervisor said he fears having both a fire and library millage on the same ballot could cause tax fright among voters and doom both proposals.

“One or both would not survive if they're both on together," Stille said. "... I think it's probably a bad omen for both. ... It's hard for me to conceive folks not wanting adequate fire protection, but we'd be very concerned about jeopardizing that."

Stille said a possible library millage deserves its own attention and its own ballot timing.

Currently, Crockery residents are not part of the Spring Lake library district. As nonresidents, they must pay $88 per library card for limited services at the Spring Lake library. Those services do not include inter-library loans, e-books or other digital services.

A grassroots group, Library for Crockery Readers, approached the Crockery Township Board last month requesting that a 0.33-mill proposal be placed on the August 2014 ballot. If that were to happen, and voters approved such a measure, Crockery Township could enter into a contract agreement with the district library – as long as the library board is also on board with the plan.

Library for Crockery Readers member Nancy Kucks said she's heard a lot of positive feedback from residents wanting to be part of the library district.

“I'm still hopeful, but we're kind of waiting at this point,” she said. “We're just waiting for the next step.”

Stille said there could be more costs than the 24-member Library for Crockery Readers group realizes.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



I just read SL twp pays 1.7335 mils for operating ONLY to the library, with another .98 mils for debt. I have to wonder why Crockery thinks they should be paying so much less than that amount? Can someone from the group LFCR comment on that point? I know if they go there, they have access to the computers at SLDL for free, as does anyone from anywhere (thanks to taxpayers paying for the services for all).


I have to wonder if a better solution is a county millage to be considered that can fund all libraries in Ottawa County for access by all county residents. This is 2013 and I find it appalling that library services aren't available to all residents. It seems like a no brainer to me that if we can have a county road commission, drain commission, health department, etc that having a county library system could be easily managed and for a lot less being divided among all county taxpayers.


Somebody give someone some money so that we don't have to hear about this anymore. This is absurd on a level that is almost indescribable; come up with an appropriate amount to charge for a card to use the library and treat all people the same.

Comparisons - I have to pay non-resident rates to belong to the SLCFAC (Spring Lake Community Fitness and Aquatic Center) because I live on the other side of the street. My neighbors pay one rate, I another, and we live really close to the school on top of it. I can walk to the gym faster than most residents of Spring Lake can drive there but I'm a non-resident. Who are these people that make up this crap? We spend most of our money in the tri-cities but I am a non-resident for the Municipal Boat Launch in Grand Haven. It is however the only launch that will handle my boat and trailer comfortably. This drawing the line and "stealing" from people for books, memberships, services, when we are all in this together is ridiculous.


Does it surprise anyone that no one from the group has commented in this forum? Too bad, seems like no one can read in Crockery, nor write a comprehendable explanation on why they should pay only .33 mils. They really do need access to a library. Too bad they decided to not seek funding for their own library when they had one. For you complainers, now that was access! Your own library! Why did they do that?


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