By Aimee Hancock
PIQUA — Voters turned out in support of the Piqua Public Library’s 1.8-mill levy request, according to unofficial results from Tuesday’s primary election.
“I am thrilled that the Piqua community has united together to support our outstanding library,” said Friends of the Piqua Public Library (FPPL) Board President Ruth Koon.
The Piqua Public Library requested voters approve the renewal of the 1.3-mill levy, which has been in place with no increases for 10 years, as well as an additional .5-mill, for a total request of 1.8 mills. This .5-mill increase in the levy is to cover cost increases, according to FPPL Treasurer Susan Haas. The FPPL spearheaded the levy’s election campaign.
This 1.8-mill levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 house $57.31 per year, or 16 cents per day, according to Haas.
According to Koon, since its first approval 10 years ago, the levy has gone toward operational expenses for the library, including books, utilities, and salaries. The library currently employs 26 full- and part-time staff members, and is open 57 hours per week.
Koon highlighted the library’s role in the Piqua community, noting the library is a place for all residents, whether they have a library card or not.
“Citizens can access state unemployment sites, which is very important right now, job sites, state benefit and health sites, all for free,” she said.
The library also serves as a refuge for residents during very high or very low outdoor temperatures, Koon said.
The library’s offerings include many programs for residents ranging in age from preschool to senior citizens, printer usage, access to tax forms and voter registration, a local history room, and free meeting and civic space in the historic Fort Piqua Plaza building.
“I think (the library) is almost a historical visit for people who either have lived here or left and come back,” said FPPL Board Secretary Joyce Jenkins.
Throughout 2019, there were a total of 100,000 visits to the library. In the same year, there were just under 12,000 computer users, and 2,400 visitors to the history room.