Early election results show library millage passes

DOWAGIAC — The Dowagiac District Library is getting a second chance.

According to unofficial election results, a millage, which would bring large-scale improvements to the library, was winning by a vote of 2,339 to 2,112 as of 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. The proposal previously appeared on the August primary ballot, ultimately failing by a vote of 891 to 820.

The millage is a 1 mill, which means that $1 for every $1,000 of taxable value on a property or home within the library district will be collected. As the average taxable value of a property in the district is $70,000, the average homeowner would pay $70 a year. The millage will generate approximately $523,000 in its first year.

The money will be used to nearly double the space of the library by adding an addition to the back side of the structure. More meeting rooms will be added, in addition to special quiet spaces, teen spaces and vending areas. A more convenient outside book drop and a space that can be accessed after hours will also be added. The final stage of the renovation, which will be done in stages so that the library can remain open during construction, will involve removing the front of the library to restore it to a 1904 Carnegie style.

Library Director Matt Weston said he was optimistic that the millage would pass due to higher levels of voter turnout at Tuesday’s election, as opposed to August’s primary election.

“The board and I thought that because the last election was so close, the higher voter turnout might be a good thing for us,” Weston said.

Since the last election, Weston said he and library supporters have been working to raise awareness about the millage and what it would add to the library by putting out signs and participating in community events, such as a shredding event with Sister Lakes Brewing Company and downtown Dowagiac’s Under the Harvest Moon festival.

“The feedback we have heard has been mostly positive, almost 100 percent positive,” Weston said.

Prior to Tuesday’s vote, Weston said he had a good feeling that the millage would pass, but that he was not sure what was going to happen. After receiving unofficial election results, he said he was “elated,” and ready to begin the process of talking to contractors about the work needed to be done on the building.

“I’m happy we won in such a high voter turnout election. We had more than twice as many voters than last time,” he said. “I’m happy and eager to get to work.”

Berrien County

Berrien County Commissioners sign resolution asking state to restore county revenue share

News

Niles Renaissance Faire to return in May

Berrien County

United Way of Southwest Michigan’s director of advocacy chosen for selective statewide advocacy program

Dowagiac

Salvation Army receives grant from The Pokagon Fund for emergency financial assistance

Edwardsburg

South Bend man injured in Edwardsburg car vs train accident

Buchanan

School, community partner to bring bikes to Buchanan students

Edwardsburg

Edwardsburg church collecting donations for southwest Michigan veterans

News

Niles native calls for photography submissions

News

Video shows altercation at flag football game in Niles

Breaking News

Fire contained at former Niles Inn

Brandywine Education

Former Brandywine teacher charged with accosting a minor for immoral purposes, use of a computer to commit a felony

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien County reports two COVID-19 deaths

Berrien County

4-H announces alumni, supporters walking challenge

Education

Ballard Elementary, Niles High School to remain remote through end of the week

Business

Niles real estate agent named Realtor of the Year

News

Evergreen Road special assessment district created

Cass County

Cass County millages on the ballot for May 4

Dowagiac

Dowagiac announces March students of the month

Buchanan

Local provisioning centers celebrate cannabis holiday with sales, overcome software snags

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 799,140 cases, 16,986 deaths

Dowagiac

DUS to install classroom phones in elementary schools, high school

Berrien County

Berrien County 4-H Leaders Association sets annual meeting

Dowagiac

DUS Board of Education honors Class of 2021 Top 10

Buchanan

Buchanan HCU member center lands new leadership