Libraries usually are quiet places, but Pleasant Grove officials are finding that raising the money to upgrade the city's library is raising a ruckus.
The city had been looking at raising property taxes to fund the library. But some residents voiced concerns about the possible increase.Lyle Thacker, a member of the library's advisory board, said, "If we (the library) don't have the books and programs that make it a worthwhile facility, then it is not a service to the community."
Mayor David Holdaway said part of the request for an increase in funding stems from the library staff's desire to improve the book collection, expand operating hours and create better programs.
"The tax increase would go strictly for the support of the library," Holdaway said.
Pleasant Grove residents need to ask themselves whether they feel putting money into the library will benefit the city as a whole, he said.
One group of people said they did not want to pay for a facility that they do not use. But K.A. Driggs, city budget/finance director, said others had helped pay for his children's education through library funding and he wants to help other people's children in the same way.
Pleasant Grove's library is 2 years old. Thacker said that since the new facility was completed "circulation has increased tremendously." An average 300 titles are now checked out per day."We just want to be able to meet the needs of the people," he said.
Councilman Dan Fugal said the results of a survey about the tax increase and library funding have not been fully interpreted yet, but the response seems to be about 50 percent for the funding and 50 percent against.
"The people who use the library had a greater tendency to want to increase taxes," Fugal said.
Holdaway said the city could also consider other means to raise the money, such as fund-raising activities or voluntary contributions through the water bill.