As most of our regular library users know, the library currently faces an urgent challenge that affects its ability to serve the people of Mount Clemens effectively. Our elevator – now nearly half a century old – has been placed permanently out of service due to mechanical failure, causing an extreme hardship for the many senior and disabled citizens who use our free public meeting space on a weekly basis.
Mount Clemens Public Library has a long history of sound fiscal management and continues to earn high marks from its auditors. However, the economic downturn since 2008 has seriously impacted the revenue the library receives from its millage levy. The library has lost over two million dollars due to declining property tax revenues during this period. We have maintained library services during this crisis by cutting hours, reducing staff levels, implementing a wage freeze (now in its 5th year) and economizing on spending in all areas. While these steps have kept us on a sound financial footing, they have not allowed the library to set aside funds for the type of capital expenditure we now face.
The trustees and administration of Mount Clemens Public Library realize that as our community struggles to regain its financial footing, now is not the time to ask the taxpayers to approve an additional tax millage or bond issue to address the library’s building problems. Rather, we are asking our citizens to step up and make an investment in the future of Mount Clemens with a one-time gift to the library to help us raise $60,000 to modernize our elevator so that our building is once again fully accessible to citizens of all physical abilities.
If you are able, please consider a gift to Mount Clemens Public Library to raise our elevator. All contributions, large and small, will move us toward the goal. With your help, we hope to have a modern, working elevator in place by the end of the summer.