Library levy renewal on November ballot

Ashland voters will decide this November whether to renew a levy that allows the Ashland Public Library to stay open full time while also funding additional employees and extra services for kids and senior citizens.

On Tuesday night, the Ashland City Council unanimously voted to put the levy renewal on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.

Councilors said they are hopeful that residents will renew the levy.

"Our community really rises to the occasion when it comes to our library," said Councilor Carol Voisin.

In November 2008, Ashland voters passed a levy to supplement library hours and operations. That levy is set to expire in the summer of 2013.

Renewing the levy would continue the supplemental funding until the summer of 2017.

Without the extra money, Jackson County budget limitations would cause the Ashland library to be open 24 hours per week rather than the 40 hours per week that it is open now.

The levy also pays for the equivalent of three full-time employees and library outreach programs to children, teens and seniors, according to city officials.

The Ashland library is part of the Jackson County library system.

Mayor John Stromberg said the community has responded to the increased hours and services by heavily using the Ashland library.

He also commended Ashland library staff members and volunteers for their innovation and hard work.

The levy would cost up to $0.21 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

The owner of a home assessed at $241,000 — the average in Ashland this year — would pay $50.61 per year if the full $0.21 per $1,000 in assessed value is levied.

However, the city of Ashland has levied $0.19 of the possible $0.21 in the past. City officials said they will only levy the necessary amount to maintain existing services.

The $0.19 levy figure costs $45.79 this year for the owner of a home assessed at $241,000.

Assessed home values are usually lower than market values because of property tax limits approved by Oregon voters years ago.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or

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