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Mancos library levy passes with 65.7 percent of vote

Mancos students learn about cleaning up oil spills by adding vegetable oil to water and using soap to clean it out during a Mancos Library Science Friday in September.

Mancos on Tuesday approved a levy to help fund library costs.

The vote on Mancos 4A was 1,207 to 630, with 65.7 percent of voters approving the levy.

Library Director Lee Hallberg said he appreciates all the energy, time and effort that went in to the measure from staff, volunteers, board members and others.

“I’m extremely pleased with the outcome,” he said. “I can’t express how fortunate I feel to live in Mancos.”

Julia Whelinan, who is a member of the political action committee that supported the measure, said there will be great expectations for the library moving forward.

“Our community values our Mancos Public Library and what it has to offer, and it shows through the votes,” she said on Wednesday.

The Mancos Library District asked voters for permission to increase the mill levy by 2 mills to cover increasing operating costs.

The library had more than 61,000 visits in 2015 and is vital for the Mancos middle and high schools, which do not have libraries. About $83,000 has been cut from the library’s yearly operating budget, but the library is still trying to provide the same amount of programming.

The library has a debt service of $1.5 million, library board member Jacqueline Doyle told Mancos trustees at a July meeting. If approved, the measure would cost homeowners in Mancos about $2 per month, Doyle said. For businesses, the cost would be about $9 per month, she said.

Library board members also are considering refinancing the $1.5 million debt, but cannot do so until 2017, she said.

To continue with the same number of staff members and consistent programming, the library needs extra revenue from a mill levy, Doyle said.

Hallberg said he’s glad to be able to continue providing for the community, and he hopes the library can grow in the future.

“I truly believe in literacy. It’s paramount for a healthy community,” he said. “This will allow us to continue to provide for our community.”

Whelihan said starting the campaign early made a difference on election day. It would not have passed without the help of everyone who volunteered to call voters, put up signs and raise awareness, she said. She’s very excited for the library, she said.

“It’s a new day,” she said. “The library will continue with its awesome programming and services.”