Yesterday Cleveland Heights-University Heights citizens passed Issue 5, Heights Libraries’ operating levy, with 67 percent of voters supporting the levy.
“We are so very grateful to our citizens for voting to support us,” says Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin. “Passage of this levy ensures the long-term financial security of our neighborhood branches, and ensures that Heights Libraries can continue its level of superior service to all of our citizens.”
The levy will generate $2.3 million a year, and library plans to use those funds to restore services that were cut in 2009 when the Ohio Public Library Fund was drastically cut, such as Sunday hours at all branches. The library will also consider hiring more staff. The library’s expenses started to outpace its revenue this year, and two-thirds of the library’s budget comes from local property taxes, with the remaining one third coming from Ohio’s Public Library Fund, which is currently at 1996 funding levels and is expected to drop further.
“Our libraries nurture the economic, educational, and cultural growth of our two cities,” says Levy Committee Co-chair and Heights Libraries Board member Abby Botnick. “Passage of Issue 5 means our staff, our buildings, and our services can continue to support our communities and help them thrive.”