Moniteau County will have its own public library after voters passed Proposition A on Tuesday. The two-point vote involved establishing a county library district and creating a tax to support it.
According to Nancy Lewis, assistant director of Wood Place Library in California, the vote was crucial.
“It is just such a thrill to have what will become permanent funding when we start receiving the tax money. Permanent funding so that we don’t have to constantly fundraise to keep the doors open,” Lewis said. “This is a huge thing for Moniteau County.”
Two years ago, the city of Tipton and three taxpayers filed a lawsuit against Moniteau County Library District and the Moniteau County Library Board. The suit claimed that the vote to accept a donation of the Wood Place Library in 1997 was invalid because it did not cover the entire county.
A judge ruled the library district was illegally created and the California library location closed its doors on March 1, 2017. The Elia Wood Paegelow Foundation reopened it with private funding on May 22, 2017.
Tax receipts will not be in place for the library until December 2018, so the library will still operate on private funding through the Elia Wood Paegelow Foundation until then. Because of the successful vote, Lewis said the library wants to increase hours in 2018.
“Tax money gives us an even playing field that we can count on to boost our staff. And in order to do the programming we’d like to do we have to have more staff. All this makes this possible,” Lewis said.