Flint voters asked for tax increase to pay for $27.6 million library expansion

This rendering shows what a renovated and expanded Flint Public Library would look like facing Kearsley Street, including a new outdoor gathering space.
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FLINT (WJRT) (8/21/2019) - Flint voters will be asked to approve a tax increase on Nov. 5 that will pay for a $27.6 million renovation and expansion of the Flint Public Library on Kearsley Street.

The proposal would completely repurpose the existing building and add about 16,000 square feet of new public space. Taxpayers would pay about $12.6 million, with donors paying $15 million.

Voters in the city of Flint will see two questions from the library on the Nov. 5 ballot:

-- Renewal of the library's existing 2-mill operating millage for 10 years. Flint residents already pay this tax, so it would not result in a significant increase in taxes.

-- Approval of a $12.6 million bond issue that would raise taxes by an average of 1.81 mills per year for 12 years. That would raise taxes by $1.81 a year for every $1,000 of taxable value, or $27 a year for a home with a taxable value of $15,000.

The existing library at 1026 E. Kearsley St. on the Flint Cultural Center campus is 60 years old. Library board members believe it needs major updates to incorporate modern technology, learning styles and community needs.

The renovation and expansion project would add more children's learning space, more room for digital learning, 15 meeting rooms, four classrooms and a larger history and genealogy room.

If approved, the library on Kearsley Street would temporarily close in February and reopen in a temporary space by May, where it will remain during construction. Construction would take place from May 2020 to August 2021.

The library is hosting five community meetings for voters to learn about the plans. They are from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, Oct. 1 and Oct. 29 and from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 29.

A new website has been set up to educate voters about the plans.


This rendering shows what a renovated and expanded Flint Public Library would look like facing Kearsley Street, including a new outdoor gathering space.