Voters to decide on Oxford Library bond proposal this August

By James Hanlon
Leader Staff Writer
In addition to the many primary candidates, there will be one proposal on the Aug. 4 ballot for voters in Oxford Township and Village.
The Oxford Public Library is asking for a 20-year bond of $9.1 million to fund a large expansion and renovation of the library building at 530 Pontiac St.
Approximately .58 mills would be levied the first year, then .5 mills every year thereafter. (1 mill is equal to $1 per $1000 in taxable value.)
Last year the library conducted a feasibility study with Seth Penchansky, a principal at the Ann Arbor-based Daniels and Zermack Architects. Penchnasky is quite familiar with the building, completed in 1997, since he was its architect. Over his career, he has worked on more than 50 library building projects.

Bryan Cloutier

“We conducted a number of research study work to retrieve data that would support what we’re proposing,” said Library Director Bryan Cloutier. “And through a whole process of meetings, many meetings, with many individuals, we’ve concluded that it is necessary that we add on to the Oxford Public Library.”
They looked at Oxford’s forecasted growth and libraries in similar sized communities to determine what capacity was needed. Cloutier said the children’s room in particular is very undersized given the size of the community and the number of people who actually use it.
The number and size of groups using the community room has also increased in recent years.
“Contrary to what some folks believe, the library is a very busy place,” Cloutier said.
There were 1.6 million library visits between 2009 and 2019. During that same time period, 2.6 million items were checked out, according to statistics published by the library.
The plan is to add an additional 11,247 square feet to the existing 23,400. The largest expansions would be in the northeast for the new youth area and the southwest for the adult wing.
The new youth area would more than double its current size. The adult area would have additional study rooms, conference rooms, restrooms, storage space, a new computer lab and a room dedicated to local history and genealogy.
A “Maker Space” would host “creative and innovative life-long learning opportunities” like crafting activities and Lego clubs. The community room would be expanded to accommodate up to 200 people.
Outside, the parking lot would have 30 more parking spaces.
There would also be some rearranging and remodeling of the existing building, including updating the mechanical systems. Floorplans and details can be viewed on the library website at miopl.org.
In developing the plan and proposal, the library worked with Ann Arbor-based PFM Financial Advisors and Detroit-based Miller Canfield general bond counsel.
The full ballot proposal reads as follows:
Shall the Charter Township of Oxford, County of Oakland, Michigan, borrow a sum of not to exceed Nine Million One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($9,100,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds, payable in not to exceed twenty years from the date of issuance, for the purpose of paying the cost of renovating, constructing an addition to, furnishing, and equipping the Township’s existing Oxford Public Library facility, including all related site improvements, appurtenances and attachments, for use by the Oxford Public Library?
The estimated millage to be levied in 2020 is 0.58 mill ($0.58 per $1,000 of taxable value) and the estimated simple average annual millage rate required to retire the bonds is 0.50 mill ($0.50 per $1,000 of taxable value).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.