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Questions and Answers About the Hackley Library Bond Issue Election
  1. Q. Why does the Hackley Public Library need a bond issue?

    A. The Library buildings need repair and mechanical systems need updating. The Library also needs to improve accessibility for all library users.

  2. Q. Didn’t the Library just finish a big construction project?

    A. Yes, phase I of the Building of Character project was just completed. That phase focused on safety and health of library users -- emergency exits were installed; the restrooms were completely replaced; the lighting and electrical systems were upgraded; new paint and floor coverings were installed.

  3. Q. What repairs are still needed?

    A. --Replace the 1964 boiler and all the radiators (some of which date back to 1890) with a modern energy efficient system that will save energy and money and eliminate some areas being too hot and others too cold. Cooling and improved ventilation will be added.

    --Replace 112 windows at the library with energy efficient, new windows. (The historic stained glass windows were restored and protective insulated glass was already installed over them in 2008.)

    --Improve ramp access to the library so that everybody is safe coming and going. The current alley access is dangerous because people and cars must use the same narrow space. Barrier free access at the front door will keep people safe and provide equal access.

    --Complete the interior painting of the library and improve staff work areas.

    --Replace the aging elevator at the Torrent House.

    --Finish restoring and repairing 34 windows at the Torrent House.

    --Replace the 20+ year old telephone system, upgrade wireless and other public access to technology, upgrade the camera system.

    --Replace locks and re-key both buildings.

  4. Q. Who paid for Phase I?

    A. Businesses, foundations and people with all kinds of ties to Muskegon donated $1.2 million for Phase I. A special reserve fund for public improvement was also used.

  5. Q. Can’t the school district help the Library? Isn’t the Library part of the district?

    A. Muskegon Schools does help the library in some restricted ways. The school district is renting the Library and the Torrent House buildings to the library for only $1 per year through 2051. The school district is also contributing $25,000 per year to a library maintenance fund.

    The Hackley Library is an independent unit of government supported by property taxes. The Library had to separate from the school district in 2001 because of changes in funding for K-12 schools included in Proposal A of 1994.

  6. Q. What about the money from Charles Hackley?

    A. Hackley left two restricted funds for the Library with the requirement that only a small percentage of the interest earned can be spent.

  7. Q. What will this cost property owners?

    A. If the proposed 15 year $3.2 million bond is approved by voters on Nov. 4 it will cost:
    Market Value Taxable Value Tax Per Year
    $50,000 $25,000 $13.68
    $80,000 $40,000 $21.89
    $100,000 $50,000 $27.37

  8. Q. When is the election, how much is proposed, and how long will it last?

    A. The election will be held with the regular election on Tuesday, November 4. The proposal asks for approval of a $3.2 million bond for 15 years.
  9. Q. Who can vote?

    A. People who live in the Muskegon School district and people who live in the City of Muskegon can vote. The last day to register to vote is October 6.
  10. Q. Who is running the Hackley Library now that it‘s not part of the school district?

    A. There is a legally established library board composed of 7 citizens, 4 appointed by Muskegon Public Schools and 3 appointed by the City of Muskegon. They are:
    Charles Johnson, Jr. President (school district appointee)
    Barbara VanFossen Vice President (city appointee)
    Clayton Hardiman Treasurer (city appointee)
    Judy Greer Secretary (school district appointee)
    Doris Rucks Trustee (city appointee)
    Sue Gawron Trustee (school district appointee)
    John Derbin Trustee (school district appointee)

  11. Q. Who can use the library?

    A. Anyone living in the surrounding 8-county area may now use the Hackley Library at no charge under an agreement with the Lakeland Library Cooperative.