Leader Blues

Thursday, June 23, 2005

EDITORIAL>> A new library for $20 a year

Libraries are a measure of our civilization.

When you drive into an old town with an ancient library that Andrew Carnegie had built in many parts of the country, you stop and look, and even when the library is closed, you look in wonder at the magnificent structure where generations of people of all ages had borrowed books that they might not have read without a good local library that stores the treasures of our civilization.

On Tuesday, July 5, Jacksonville will vote on a proposed 1-mill increase to rebuild its crumbling library. It is the oldest in the Central Arkansas Library System and has so many structural problems that it would cost less to build a new one for about $2.5 million.

Although Jacksonville would get a wonderful new library, the costs are modest. The average taxpayer would pay $20 a year if the millage passes.

That $20, of course, is on a home valued on the assessorís books at $100,000. Assessed at 20 percent ($20,000) times .001 = $20.

Thatís a rather modest investment in a library that is sorely needed and would help revitalize downtown Jacksonville.

Hereís a reminder to Jacksonville residents: Early voting has started at the Pulaski County Courthouse. Early voting continues next Monday at Jacksonville City Hall.

Otherwise, please vote on Tuesday, July 5 and help make reading fun again.