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Published: Wednesday, 8/7/2013 - Updated: 2 years ago

Lenawee District Library request OK’d, Blissfield schools denied by voters

Rose Piotter, branch manager of the Deerfield Branch Library, part of the Lenawee District Library, shelves books. The library’s 0.6-mill, 10-year levy was OK’d. Rose Piotter, branch manager of the Deerfield Branch Library, part of the Lenawee District Library, shelves books. The library’s 0.6-mill, 10-year levy was OK’d.
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Lenawee County voters approved on Tuesday a levy to run the restructured Lenawee District Library.

The 10-year, 0.6-mill levy will generate about $968,400 in its first year and eventually allow for restored hours at branches, whose hours of service were chopped as county funding dropped.

“I think it shows that Lenawee County residents are supportive of their libraries, and as a library lover I think that’s a very good thing,” interim director Trevor Van Valkenburg said.

The tax was approved by a 1,018-832 vote, according to unofficial results. Its passage will mean county funding for the libraries involved will cease at year’s end.

MORE SPECIAL ELECTION NEWS: School measures fall in Swanton, Perkins

Mr. Van Valkenburg predicts restoring hours of service will be among the first moves the district makes after funding sources switch to the levy. The district includes much of Lenawee County, excepting municipalities with an independently supported library.

Elsewhere during Tuesday’s special elections, voters struck down a Blissfield Community Schools sinking-fund levy by a 481-255 vote, also unofficial. The district had requested 1.25 mills for 10 years to pay for building projects and repair work.

Superintendent Scott Moellenberndt said district officials had been optimistic about the amount requested and are disappointed with the results.

“We are going to have to make our money [go] as far as we can and try to maintain programs for kids,” he said.

Blissfield board President Noel Eisenmann doesn’t anticipate returning to voters for another request, at least not until next year.

“Right now, they spoke pretty clear,” he said.

Also defeated was a nine-year, 0.95-mill sinking fund levy for Jefferson Schools in Monroe County, which unofficially fell 931-815.

Other results:

● The top six Adrian city commission candidates will face off in a November primary to win three seats. Unofficial vote totals were: Chuck Jacobson, 454; John Dudas, 404; Jeffrey Clark Pardee, 393; Andrew Munson and Jeff Rising, both 387, Milo Warren, 356; and Allen Heldt, 278. Subject to vote certification, Mr. Heldt is eliminated.

● Hillsdale County residents renewed a 911 operating surcharge for up to $3 per telephone per month, 1,441-686.

● Voters in the Hillsdale County village of Waldron rejected 36-17 a proposal to cut the number of council trustees from six to four.

● Hillsdale Community Schools won renewal of a 5-year, 1.99-mill sinking fund tax levy, 623-230.

● Hillsdale city clerk candidates Amy England and Robilyn Swisher will advance to the general election, having received 149 and 97 votes, respectively, while Marybeth Bail (95 votes) and Baillie Jones (33) were eliminated.

● In the Clinton Community Schools, which straddles the Lenawee-Washtenaw county line, a five-year, 1-mill sinking-fund levy passed 201-82.

● Jonesville residents selected nine people to serve on a charter commission to develop a city charter. Those elected are: John Ciaravino, Betty J. Fast, Ron Hayes, Les Hutchinson, Scott Leising, James O. Marks, Jim Pope, David T. Steel, and Mike Venturini. Andy Penrose finished 10th.

Contact Vanessa McCray at: vmccray@theblade.com, 419-724-6065, or on Twitter @vanmccray.

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