Roseburg residents will vote on library measure

ROSEBURG, Ore. - Roseburg voters will have a chance to vote on the county library funding measure after the city council gave the OK to include the city on the library ballot measure that will likely happen in the primary election in May.

Councilor said they were still concerned about a possible loss of city revenue because of the limit on the amount of taxes the city can collect due to the compression on property taxes. But the council decided t to pass the resolution anyway and let the voters decide.

The resolution would allow city voters to participate in the election, which would tax property owners up to $.50 per thousand dollars of assessed value, to form the county-wide service district for the library system.

The measure would likely be on the May Primary ballot.

Councilors had some concerns but in the end approved the resolution.

"I came to the conclusion that the citizens of Roseburg can figure this out," said Councilor Steve Kaser. "There are a lot of advocates on both sides of the issue and It'll be well discussed."

Councilor Mike Baker said he didn't like the idea. "I think I'm going to vote for it to send it to the voters. I think it is a bad deal and the voters are going to decide whether we want a fully staffed, fully serviced library, when all of our city services will be cut."

Jeff Pugh of the Library Futures Committee said there are still some cities in the county that have not committed to allowing the election, but he said getting Roseburg on board was a big step.

"We're very happy that the citizens will have a chance to vote. We believe we have a wonderful case to bring to the community as to why the library is so important," said Pugh.

The city already contributes $50,000 to the Library headquarters annually.

The County Commissioners still have to approve putting the measure on the ballot.