FVRL asks for levy approval

Monies will benefit sites throughout the district, including Washougal

The Fort Vancouver Regional Library District is asking voters to approve a 12 cent increase to its current levy rate.

The proposed FVRL levy lid lift, included on the Aug. 17 Primary Election ballot, would increase the levy rate to provide the library district with additional operating revenue to restore library hours lost in 2009, and purchase books and other items for the district collection.

The FVRL district includes all of Skamania, Klickitat and Clark counties, except for the city of Camas. The Washougal Community Library, part of the FVRL network, is supported with funds from the levy.

If approved by a simple majority, the new rate would be 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. The current rate is 38 cents per $1,000.

If the rate bump is approved, the owner of a $250,000 home would pay about $125 per year. It will generate an additional $3 million for the district in 2011.

In the statement that is part of the recently released voter’s pamphlet, supporters Gilda Ciraulo, Dollie Lynch and Jan Oliva argue that in difficult economic times, citizens turn to their libraries.

“Our library district — one of our most important resources for livable and healthy communities — can’t meet this dire need because of severely reduce revenues,” the statement reads. “It’s been forced to make deep cuts: slashing hours at seven libraries, reducing staff by 10 percent and eliminating some popular services.”

No statements were submitted in opposition to the levy lid lift.

The FVRL district has not requested a levy lid lift since 1993.

The district includes 13 libraries and three bookmobiles. It serves 468,000 people living within 4,200 square miles.

According to the Clark County Elections Department, ballots for the Aug. 17 Primary Election will be mailed to voters this week. Voters who do not receive their ballots by Aug. 6 should contact the Clark County Elections Office at 397-2345. Ballots for the all-mail election must be postmarked by Aug. 17 to be counted.

For more information, visit www.clark.wa.gov/elections, call 397-2345, or e-mail elections@clark.wa.gov.

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