Bollinger County voters pass library tax

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

MARBLE HILL, Mo. -- Bollinger County voters were apparently conflicted about the library tax increase on Tuesday's ballot, but they did approve the first tax increase of its kind in 60 years with just over 52 percent of the vote.

"It was a little closer than I would have liked," said library director Eva Dunn. "But I take small victories."

Proposition 1 -- which doubles the tax in its first increase since 1946 -- passed with 438 voters in favor and 401 votes against. When property owners pay their taxes in November, Proposition 1 will increase the property taxes set aside for library use from 10 cents on every $100 assessed valuation to 20 cents on every $100 assessed valuation.

That is expected to double the library's $95,000 annual budget. Dunn said Tuesday evening she plans to double the library's $10,000 annual book budget, extend operational hours and get better library services to the county's outlying areas.

Michael Kelpe of Marble Hill voted in favor of Proposition 1.

"Nothing has changed in all these years," Kelpe said. "Look at everything else that's changed. It's not asking that much."

But Michael Garner of Scopus, Mo., voted against it.

"They've got enough money," he said after casting his ballot.

Dunn said she knows that others in Bollinger County share Garner's opinion.

"I'm appreciative of the support we got, and now I've got to convince the other ones how important this is," she said.

Now, Dunn will sit down with the library's board of directors and begin planning in earnest. She said the library will definitely be open for 11 more hours a week, including opening on Monday, currently a day the library is closed.

She also wants to reach out to outlying Bollinger County communities.

"We're a big county," she said. "We need to get better services to those areas. We don't have any branches in those areas, but there are some things we need to look at doing."

Several of the other races in Bollinger County were uncontested. Marble Hill will get a new mayor and two new aldermen. Rick Jones, the city's former assistant city administrator, ran unopposed for mayor of Marble Hill, getting 90 votes anyway. Jim Johnson and Fred Ritter will represent Marble Hill's Ward 1 and Ward 2, respectively. Johnson got 23 votes, and Ritter got 62.

In Glenallen, Beverly Cutsinger and Loris Lincoln were the only two candidates for the town's board of trustees, though three were needed. Cutsinger got 16 votes, and Lincoln got 15. In Zalma, there were five candidates and five openings for the village council: Richard Thornburgh, Linda Pape, Debra Thornburgh, Dolores Jackson and Mary Vangennip.

In Sedgewickville, Mo., three candidates ran for three open seats on the village council: Merri K. Mungle, Vickie Brown and Kristi Hays.

335-6611, extension 137

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