Potential library bond issue key for community

The Marquette City Commission and the Peter White Public Library Board of Trustees both support a potential bond issue for capital improvements to the library, a beloved institution in the city of Marquette.

It’s a well-used facility. Individual rooms often are reserved by community groups, numerous books are checked out — and try finding a parking spot when a popular event takes place.

Library staff said between 800 and 900 people use the facility daily, with about 1,200 meeting room uses annually.

With all that use, though, comes wear and tear, and that means structural and mechanical improvements. For example, a structural collapse of the wall on the building’s southeast corner recently was detected.

Other concerns deal with heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and improvements would save the library money in electrical costs down the road.

The library also wants to undertake a space-planning project, with a local benefactor already donating money to hire a space-planning consultant.

The city bond issue, which would be on the August ballot, would be for $3 million and be paid over 15 years by levying about .55 mills.

The previous bond paid for the library’s 1998 renovation and addition, with the last payment due this year. PWPL Director Andrea Ingmire indicated she wants to continue to levy the bond to abut that rate. So, that means millage payers probably wouldn’t feel much of a loss should another millage take place.

Library services, as with most if not all municipal functions, have to evolve to keep pace with the changing world. In PWPL’s case, that means moving toward the digital world.

It already has made headway, an example being the computer technology classes offered to the public and computers made available to card-carrying library users.

All this costs money, of course.

The Mining Journal supports the library in its mission, and will continue to watch with great interest as the bond issue proceeds.