Fayetteville Special Election Will Decide Fate Of Library Expansion

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- Fayetteville voters will decide Tuesday (Aug. 9) if they want to put money toward the expansion of their library.

The City of Fayetteville is holding a special election on a proposed millage increase that would pay for the expansion.

"Libraries are somewhat becoming more of museums," Kenneth Wallis, campaign manager of an initiative to reject the millage increase, said.

Wallis said a proposal to increase taxes for an expansion of the Fayetteville library is a poor idea.

"Tax funds really need to be focused on police, fire, roads, and necessities." he said.

But Library Executive Director David Johnson said the millage increase would be worthwhile.

"We are looking to the future," he said. "We are looking at the city growing, and making sure the library services we provide today, are the same kind of services that we can provide in the future."

Currently, Fayetteville residents pay one mil for the library. To put that into perspective, if you own a $100,000 home, that is about $20 a year. The library wants to raise that to 2.5 mils for operations and maintenance. They are also asking for 1.2 mils for bonds and capital expansion,  which would be paid off in 25 to 30 years. This would all add up to about $75 a year on a $100,000 home.

According to Johnson, the library provided services to more than 619,000 visitors in 2015 and more than 80 percent of Fayetteville residents own a library card.

"I think that is a testament to the fact that the people of Fayetteville have a deep-seated root for the Fayetteville library," Johnson said.

Johnson wants to use the millage increase to physically expand parts of the library, as well as the services it would provide.

"Although it may be used a lot, it is very rare times that it is overcrowded," Wallis said.

Wallis also argues the millage money will not be necessary to provide the same services in the future.

Six polling locations will be open across Fayetteville from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Registered voters can cast their ballot at any location. For a list of voting location, click here.

1 Comment

  • akanmiren1981

    I voted no, and hopefully everyone else will do the same. There is no reason to hold a special election for this, or any, issue that isn’t an emergency. And to triple the millage for non-library functionality? If you need more new books or don’t have room for books, let’s talk. If you want to become a school, then it’s a non-starter.

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