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Supporters say despite weigh station fines, millage is needed to keep Branch County libraries afloat

Branch District Library
Branch District Library

COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - Supporters of next month’s millage proposal to fund operations for the Branch District Library System say there are some misleading numbers floating around regarding the amount of penal fine monies coming to the library from weigh station tickets issued so far this year. Former district library board member Dorothy Cherry last night told the Coldwater City Council that the library did not receive $171,000 in fines for the first quarter of this year but rather took in $84,000. Cherry said there would have been a higher total in penal fines if each trucking company had simply paid the ticket issued and not disputed them and plea bargained them out.

Though it makes the first quarter the best ever in penal fines the library has received and the second quarter is also way up Cherry said the half mill proposal for is still very much needed with penal fines cyclical, going up and down. She speculated that the trucking companies have noticed by now that the weigh station along I-69 south of Coldwater is open again and the companies will be doing a better job of making sure that their trucks that cross the state line from Indiana are not overweight and not incurring the same level of fines. Also, their budget for this year to keep all of the district libraries open required spending all of their reserve monies. 

According to Cherry, the millage increase will allow all six branches to stay operational as well as restore the 23-hundred public hours that have been cut at a cost of a half million dollars which is the annual amount the millage proposal would produce.  The half mill levy would be for eight years. It’s on the August Fifth primary ballot. 

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