Hancock commissioners approve renewal of library levy

NEW CUMBERLAND — There will be no changes to Hancock County’s Library Excess Levy moneywise when it appears on the ballot for renewal in May.

During a special meeting Wednesday, county commissioners approved the order and notice for a renewal of the levy, which will help fund the Lynn Murray Memorial Public Library in Chester, Swaney Memorial Public Library in New Cumberland and the Mary H. Weir Public Library in Weirton, and will be decided by county voters in the May 8 primary election.

If approved, the levy will continue to fund the three libraries at $200,000 per year — the same level as its current levy — for the next four years, starting with fiscal year 2019 (which starts July 1) and going through 2022. The current levy is set to expire June 30, 2019.

Breaking down the finances, funding for the Weir library will be $148,156 annually; Murray library, $27,408 each year; and Swaney library, $24,436 each year. Funds are determined based on population in that library’s respective city.

Collectively, the projected revenue annually from the levy is $215,054, while the entire duration is projected to collect $860,216 in revenue and $800,000 in taxes.

It also will result in no increase of taxes for property owners, which is determined in cents per $100 of assessed valuation of classes of property. Class I rates will remain at 0.646 cents per $100; Class II, 1.292 cents; and Classes III and IV, 2.584 cents.

In essence, according to Assistant County Prosecutor Mike Lucas, the only changes being made are the timeframes for which the levy will take place.

“It’s basically just a redo of the old levy, just with the new dates implemented, and really that’s about it,” Lucas said.

Prior to taking the vote, Lucas asked county Clerk George Foley and county Accessor Joseph Alongi if the figures presented were accurate. Both officials answered yes.

The commissioners next will meet at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday at the courthouse.