Voters support library’s millage renewal

HOUGHTON — Houghton and Portage Township voters overwhelmingly approved a millage renewal for the Portage Lake District Library Tuesday.

Voters approved the 1.96-mill, seven-year renewal by a 1,071-131 margin.

Library Director Dillon Geshel had been confident it would pass, but was happy to see the margin be so large.

“I’m beyond thrilled to see that we have such overwhelming community support for our library,” he said. “I think in many ways the library is the anchor of our community. And it’s such a relief that we can continue doing important work for our residents.”

The millage will raise an estimated $460,000 in 2018. It accounts for about 85 percent of the library’s revenue.

An average Houghton resident would pay an estimated $97 per year; for Portage Township, $64.

The library district covers 12,600 residents. About 5,200 residents have an active library card.

Chassell Township residents, who voted to withdraw from the library district last year, could not vote in the election. Through an agreement with the library, they will retain access to the library through the end of 2018.