New $3 Million Per Year Library Levy Likely on November Ballot

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- If you live in Kanawha County, your November election will likely include one more issue. Library officials have requested another levy be put on the ballot.

About once a month, you'll find Anthony Cassis scouring the aisles looking for the next great novel.

"I'll stop down from visiting some shops on Capitol Street," said Cassis.

Cassis has been coming to the Kanawha County Library for 30 years, and he's not alone.

"We still check out well over a million items a year," said Library Director Alan Engelbert.

However, while the books have stacked up, so have the bills. It's that reason why the library is proposing another $3 million dollar per year levy to fund their services.

An excess levy that failed last November would have funded the school system and the libraries. The levy being proposed for this November, would only be for the library.

"It's a lot less money, and I think smaller levies are easier to pass than bigger ones," said Engelbert.

Engelbert says the library has already cut over $1 million dollars from their current budget, including 20 positions.

If this levy fails, even more could be let go.

"Most of the options we looked at involve somewhere between 40-50 people," said Engelbert.

The minimum number cut would be 29.

Many school board members, whether for or against, are happy the taxpayers will get a choice.

Also, since the issue would coming up during the general election, it wouldn't cost the county a dime.

"Any time the people get to vote, that's good news," said Kanawha County School Board President Pete Thaw.

That means the decision to check out more cash, or leave it on the shelf will come from you.

Some of the school board members wanted to vote to add the levy to the ballot Thursday night, however, a formal proposal needs to be drawn up. That vote will come in April.

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