Community
Government

Gilpin Library moves forward with ballot mil levy initiative


To replace county funding lost due to the Coronavirus pandemic

By Michael Carlson

The Gilpin County Library District Board of Trustees unanimously voted on August 13 to place a funding measure on the November ballot. This is the Library’s first ballot request for additional funding in over 25 years. The proposed ballot measure is expected to be an additional 0.900 mils and result in an annual property tax increase of $6.00 per $100,000 of property valuation in 2021. The average homeowner will see their yearly tax bill increase from approximately $5 to $25. If approved, the mil levy would provide the Library an additional $397,000 per year and replace funds that were previously provided by the county. It is currently funded at approximately 0.239 mils.

In previous years the 0.239 mill levy provided the Library with approximately 25% of its operating budget. Although the Gilpin County Public Library District is not a county department, the county supplemented the Library’s budget with the remaining 75%. The county is facing tough budgetary cuts and can no longer financially support the Library. Other sources of funding for public libraries are not available. Without a vote to increase the mil levy, the Library will suffer the same fate as the Community Center and close its doors in January.

In addition to books, DVDs, and other materials, the library provides computer and internet access, weekly free programs for children, families, and adults, as well as a large community room with wireless internet that the public can reserve. Scanning, faxing, printing, copying, and notary services have also proved popular in our small rural mountain community. It also provides access to over 1.3 million items at other Colorado Libraries through membership in the AspenCat Library Consortium.

Passing this proposed tax would give the Library financial viability into the future, and allow the Library to restore services that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting financial crisis. It would also ensure that the Library is independently funded and not reliant on county or casino revenue to operate. In order to have a future and restore services, the Library needs stable, predictable, voter directed and sustainable funding.

For more information regarding the ballot language and answers to frequently asked questions go to www.gilpinlibrary.org or contact the Library at 303-582-5777.

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