Saugatuck-Douglas Library Gets Nod Of Approval From Voters For New Building
After having failed the first time around in a 2014 proposal, the Saugatuck-Douglas District Library was successful in Tuesday’s primary election, getting the electorate of the cities of Saugatuck and Douglas and Saugatuck Township to resoundingly vote for a new, $4.35 million library building.
The unofficial election summary (results still have to be verified by Allegan County canvassers) shows that the three municipalities each individually approved the Saugatuck-Douglas District Library’s measure, totaling 1,337 yes votes against 768 no votes, with 46 percent of the Tri-Community’s 4,768 registered voters casting a vote.
“I am very pleased,” Saugatuck-Douglas District Library Director Ingrid Steen Boyer told The Local Observer while expressing gratitude for the library YES committee and its advocacy efforts.
“We look forward to building a great library and continuing to serve the public as best as we can with this new facility.”
The new building is going to be constructed on the vacant lot—purchased by the library in 2014— across the street from the existing library, on the north side of Center Street.
Library officials say they expect to break ground in the spring of 2019 and expect it to be completed by the end of that year or the beginning of 2020.
“The new library building has been designed to achieve the goals presented by the community and has the capacity to evolve as technology and community needs change,” notes the library’s website.
At $5.1 million and .67 mils, the library’s initial 2014 proposal was too large and too expensive, felt many locals.
After follow-up surveys, community input platforms and creating focus groups, library officials said they confirmed there was still a need for a new facility. They reduced the cost to $4.35 million at .427 mills for 25 years.
A homeowner, for example, with a house that has a $300,000 market value ($150,000 taxable value) can expect to pay $64.07 per year for the new library.
In other election news, Saugatuck Township Supervisor Chris Roerig, who, in his bid to continue as supervisor, got the GOP nomination for that office with 430 votes. He ran unopposed and in the Nov. 6 general election will also not face a challenger.
The township board unanimously selected Roerig for that supervisor position in April to replace the vacancy left by former township supervisor Jon Phillips, who resigned from his four-year term when he moved from the township.
With regards to the three Allegan County-wide renewal proposals, voters resoundingly approved them: the county seniors millage, 15,916 yes to 5,895 no votes; the county 911 surcharge, 16,325 yes to 5,456 no votes; and the county road millage, 15,750 yes to 6,048 no votes.
Also, Dean Kapenga beat challenger Anthony Brown 1,973 to 437 votes in his bid for the Republican nomination for District 1 Allegan County Commissioner. Kapenga, who is currently the chair of the Allegan County Board of Commissioners, will face-off with Christi Allen in the Nov. 6 general election. Kapenga said he was pleased with the voters’ support.