No referendum on new library

| 23 Aug 2012 | 12:38

— There won't be a referendum on a new library after all.
Some members of the township council called for a non-binding referendum last week in an effort to see if a majority of residents wants to proceed with the new building. The library board has $2 million in its coffers for the new building. Councilmen Joe Smolinski and Lou Signorino suggested the money be used for tax relief to hard-hit taxpayers especially after the revaluation.
They simply ran out of time, though. According to township attorney Fred Semrau, the deadline for getting something on the November ballot was Aug. 17. The topic was brought up at the council's Aug. 15 meeting, not enough time to do the preliminary work.
But there were other issues. The township and the library board had already entered into contracts which could have caused legal issues. Property was already purchased by the library board for the new building and an architect has been hired.
Signorino was one of the councilmen in favor of putting the new library building to a vote.
"Me personally, I was never against the library," said Signorino. "I just wanted people to have a say. I was never given a straight no answer (about being allowed to give the money back). People around town are having a tough time. I thought if we could give something back, we should."
The library taxes collected are determined by a state formula. Library supporters say the cost of building a new library will be no more than maintaining the current one, which most admit is substandard for the size of the township.