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New Building & Annexation FAQ

"The message is clear: libraries matter. Their solid presence at the heart of our towns sends the proud signal that everyone - whoever they are, whatever their educational background, whatever their age or their needs - is welcome."
- Kate Mosse 

REMEMEMBER Voting takes place June 28

Find your polling place: https://www.vote.org/polling-place-locator/  

Register to vote: https://ova.elections.il.gov/

Request your absentee ballot: https://www.vote.org/absentee-ballot/

On June 28, 2022 the Millstadt Library District is asking you for your help. We’re asking you to Vote on an Annexation Referendum that will bring a new library and community space to Millstadt. Read below to learn more about our upcoming referendum.

If you have any questions, please reach out to the library - We'd be more than happy to answer them!

If you're looking for something in particular, use CTRL+F to open the search tool and enter the keywords.

So, why an annexation?

The short answer -

  1. To give access to the library (and the 500+ libraries we are connected to) for all Millstadt area residents

  2. The ability to secure funding and have a new library/community space for everyone

 

The longer answer –

              The mission of the Millstadt Library is to provide as many resources as possible to as many people as possible. In pursuing an annexation, we can expand our services from just our current District (Millstadt Village limits) to everyone in the Millstadt School District 160. These services include the 500+ libraries we connect ourselves to.

              We were awarded a state grant of over $1.2 million, contingent, on us securing our local share of $2.6 million. This is an amount we know we can’t raise on donations and fundraisers alone. By talking with experts, we learned that an annexation would allow us to raise our revenue enough to secure funds to secure the grant and allow us to start building your new library in Fall 2022 and have it open by Summer 2023.

 

              So besides expanded services and a reach to more residents, we also will be able to give everyone in Millstadt the access to a NEW library and community-centered space. A space that doesn’t expect a monetary transaction to visit, a space where kids can hang out after school and on weekends with their friends, a space where generations can meet, learn, and grow.

Who does this affect?

              Everyone inside the Millstadt Library District (Millstadt Village Limits) AND everyone outside the Library District but inside Millstadt School District 160 needs to vote on June 28.

              Inside the Library District, a successful referendum would be done through a majority vote of “Yes.” This would allow anyone outside the District to be annexed inside it. There are no changes for this group – except, of course, that should both inside the District and outside have a successful referendum, that they would also get a NEW library and community space.

              Outside the Library District, a successful referendum would be done through a majority vote of “Yes.” This would annex those outside, inside the District and give them access to all of the services and items the library provides. Anyone outside the District doesn’t currently pay for library services, a vote of “Yes” would ask that those residents add the same tax that those inside the library already pay. Which is about $95 on a $200,000 home or about $8 a month more in taxes. You can read below for a more thorough breakdown.

What happens if it passes?

Plan A:

  • Tax Revenue is Increased

  • New Library Construction Starts Fall 2022

  • Millstadt Businesses See Positive Effects

  • New Library Completed Summer 2023

  • Annexation Referendum Passes

  • Library Services are Accessible to Everyone in Millstadt Area

  • Local Share is Met in Time for State Grant Deadline

  • New Community Space and Educational Center for Children, Teens and Adults is Accessible

 

What happens if it fails?

Plan B:

  • State Grant is forfeited ($1.2 million)

  • Current facility and ability to have collections, services and programs are still inefficient for our community

  • Will have to Start our Process All Over

  • New Funding Strategies will have to be Sought

  • Annexation Referendum Fails

  • Library Services remain only readily accessible to Village residents

  • No New Community Space and Educational Center for Children, Teens and Adults

  • Most Likely Won't see a New Library Until at Least 2026

What does the ballot ask?

So, here’s what you’re going to see on June 28.

“Shall the unserved territory of the Millstadt Consolidated School District #160, St. Clair County be annexed to the Millstadt Library District in St. Clair County?”

 

FULL FAQ

 

What is an Annexation?

An annexation is the incorporation of contiguous land area into an existing municipality with a resulting change in the corporate boundaries. Although annexations can be accomplished in several different ways, the Millstadt Library District wishes to use voluntary annexation (or where everyone gets to vote on whether the annexation happens or not.)

A great explanation of an annexation can be found here https://www.geneva.il.us/467/Annexation-Annexation-Agreements

 

What is an Annexation Referendum?

An annexation referendum is the fancy way of saying that affected people will have the ability to vote on whether or not the annexation passes.

 

Who does this affect?

It affects 2 groups of people.

1) Everyone inside the Village

2) Everyone outside of the Village limits, but inside Millstadt School District 160 and not served by a neighboring library

 

How does it affect residents inside the Village of Millstadt limits?

You would gain access to a NEW library and community space and since you already pay a .0015 mill rate for the Millstadt Library District on your taxes, there is no change there. (A mill rate is one-thousandth of a dollar, and in property tax terms, is equal to $1.00 of tax for each $1,000 of assessment.)

 

How does it affect residents outside of Village limits but inside Millstadt District 160 and unserved by a neighboring library?

1) It means the ability to gain full access to your local library and all of its resources - plus those of the more than 500 libraries across Illinois we are connected with.

2) An ask for a tax increase to support additional, new library members and services and materials for them.

 

3) Access to a tangible service in a new, modern, functional space for generations.

 

What does a person inside the Village limits have to do with the Annexation?

To allow new members into the library, we need the "Yes" from residents who live within the Millstadt Library District, or Village limits.

A successful annexation will annex the eligible school district persons, or in other words, to allow those who do not have library access to have it.

 

What does a person outside the Village limits have to do with the Annexation?

We ask that you take on the same .0015 mill rate that those within the Village limits already pay for library services. A successful annexation would allow you to be annexed into the Millstadt Library District.

 

What do they both have in common?

A successful referendum from both groups would enable us to have a NEW library and community space for everyone by Summer 2023.

 

What is a mill rate?

A mill rate is one one-thousandth of a dollar, and in property tax terms is equal to $1.00 of tax for each $1,000 of assessment.

 

How much would I have to pay in taxes?

This would be about $95 for a $200,000 house or about an $8 monthly increase in your taxes.

To really find out how much this would cost for you, you would need to look at your tax bill and locate the property value and subtract any exemptions. Then you would multiply that by .0015 and that would be a close estimate of your costs.

Please remember, we're not tax experts and our findings are not legally bound. These are estimations we can make from your tax bill. Please consult an expert in these fields to find the actual amount.

 

Do I have to pay for any other taxes? Like for Village services? Will I be part of the Village of Millstadt?

 

No. All you're adding to your yearly taxes is the amount from the Millstadt Library District and these taxes support something you get to use.

 

You will not be taxed for any Village services and will not be a part of the Village of Millstadt.

 

Why is the library asking to raise taxes for residents outside the Village limits?

We’re not really asking to raise your taxes, what we’re asking is that you join the library to enjoy its services and resources. Unfortunately, those services and resources aren’t free.

But we understand that any ask for a tax increase is a big ask. Please know that we would not be asking without careful consideration and a sincere belief that this is the most beneficial move for everyone in our community.

 

We have talked to several financial advisors and library experts and they agree that this endeavor is the best way to meet our goal of serving everyone in our community and our goal to build a new library.

 

So, again, what's in it for residents inside AND outside the Village limits?

We're glad you asked! We can sum it up into 2 things.

1) We can build a true community of people who have access to all of the services and resources their library and the libraries they're connected with.

2) EVERYONE would get a new library to use as early as Summer 2023.

 

How does an annexation = a new library?

To get the grant we've been awarded from the Illinois State Library (a third of the total cost or $1.2 million), we need to secure $2.6 million by June 30, 2022 and we can do this through a loan.

With the additional revenue from the qualifying, annexable residents, we will be able to pay for a loan. Of course, we'll be putting in some of our accumulated funds too, but the additional revenue allows us to meet the yearly payments on a loan of that size.

With the funding in place, we will be able to break ground in Fall 2022 and see a completed library (weather-cooperating during the build) by Summer 2023.

Why an annexation referendum over a bond referendum?

Bond Referendum

  • A Bond Referendum is a voting process that allows voters to decide if taxes should be increased for a period of time to raise funds through bonds.

  • These taxes would only affect the library’s current boundaries, making an increase for our current residents who already pay enough for the library.

  • The bond referendum would build a new library.

Annexation Referendum

  • An Annexation Referendum is a voting process that allows voters to decide if 1) those outside the current annexed area should be added to and 2) if those outside the current annexed area would like to be annexed into the library district.

  • This would ask for a continual tax increase, however, spread across more people; the tax for outside and inside town for the library district would be the same .0015 mill rate.

  • The annexation would not only match the grant — allowing the library and Millstadt to have a new building at a lesser cost — but would also increase and guarantee services for EVERYONE in the Millstadt area for generations.

  • In other words, we're not just building a building, we're building resources for generations to come.

 

What happens if the annexation fails?

Simply put, if the annexation fails and $2.6 million of funding is not in place by our deadline, then we forfeit the grant, the $1.2 million that our community would not have to pay for.

This means that we will put things on hold for a while and reassess our funding strategies. We'll be starting back from square one sometime in 2023 and we'd be lucky to see a new library by at least 2026.

 

So, no matter what, there's going to be a new library?

Yes! If we can secure the funding either through donors or the annexation, then we can start building in 2022.

 

If we can't secure the funding by June 30, 2022, then we'll reassess our funding strategies and start over.

 

But either way, all donations received for the new library will be in a bank account waiting for the new library once we're ready to build. We've put in a lot of time and work to get where we are - assembling a strong building committee, talking with library experts, attaining a fantastic architecture firm that has made so many documents for us and helped us to win the grant in the first place, and even getting a construction firm lined up to keep costs realistic.

We're not going to stop trying. This is not a pipe dream and the Millstadt Library District Board, Director and Staff will continue to take the steps needed to get our new library and to serve our community, ALL of our community, to the best of our abilities.

 

How can I learn more about the annexation and New Millstadt Library?

Here's a list of ways you can learn more;

- Keep searching our New Library page and read the information there.

- Stop by, email, or call the library and talk to the Director, she'd love to talk about our project.

 

How can I help?

There's several ways you can help too!

- Come to a Friends and Fundraising Meeting - every last Monday of the month at the library at 7 p.m. and even via Zoom

You can email, call, or stop by and even be put on the email list for the group where you get the first information about the project.

- Join the "Yes" Committee for the Annexation. You'll need to email, call, or visit the library and talk to the director or a board member for more information on how you can be a part of the group that will help rally our community to vote "yes" for the annexation referendum.

- If you can and would like to, you can also donate. The best way to do this is to send a check to Millstadt Library, 115 West Laurel Street, Millstadt, IL 62260. All donations are tax-deductible, but if you have a large amount (like a company) who needs a specific IRS tax donation form, we can do that too. Just call us to find out how that works.

 

- SPREAD the WORD! This is perhaps the most important way to help! Tell everyone you know, tell them to tell everyone they know. Share it on social, send a letter, write your local politician, call someone. The more people who know about it, the better. It also increases the likelihood that maybe that one person who can cover the costs can find us to help!

- Please remember, everything to do with helping the library is not a commitment. Come for one meeting, come for all the meetings, or don't come for a meeting. You can stop by and just talk with us about some ideas for fundraising or a potential donor.

- VOTE! If you're for the annexation, talk to your friends and neighbors and be sure to vote on June 28, 2022.

- We want your support, but we want you to do it the way that works best for you. Even just being a patron of the library means so much to us. So, thank you. Thank you so much for being here, reading this, and just being with us. They say it takes a Village and we really think Millstadt is just the one.

 

REMEMEMBER Voting takes place June 28

Find your polling place: https://www.vote.org/polling-place-locator/  

Register to vote: https://ova.elections.il.gov/

Request your absentee ballot: https://www.vote.org/absentee-ballot/