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Thursday, February 26, 2015 


The Belmont County District Library Levy

We changed our name from the Martins Ferry Public Library  so we could legally include our branches in our new boundaries as determined by the State Library of Ohio.  The Martins Ferry Public Library was created in 1930.  We may have a new name but will continue the same service.On November 5, 2013, the Library will propose a 1-mill operating levy lasting 5 years &  costing $2.91 per month for the owner of a home valued at $100,000.  This is $35.00 per year for 5 years. An average hard back book costs $28.00 so this levy will cost the homeowner of a $100,000 home  slightly more than one hard back book, or two children’s books.  If your home costs $50,000, the cost will be $17.50 per year or the price of a children’s picture book.

What is the library levy and when will it be on the ballot?
The library is proposing a 1-mill operating levy for 5 years to be on the November 5th ballot.

How much will the levy cost?
The levy will cost $35.00 per year or $2.91 per month for the owner of a home valued at $100,000.

How will the levy funds be used by the library?
The levy will be used to restore hours and services at the main library in Martin Ferry and all branches located in Bethesda, Bridgeport, Flushing, Powhatan Point and Shadyside.   We can resume five day service at the branches and extend hours at all locations.  In addition, we can increase the ability to purchase books and other materials by 75%. We would also like to offer more computer classes for the public.

Who gets to vote for this levy?

This levy is only for those who live in the Belmont County District Library area, which excludes Bellaire, Barnesville, and St. Clairsville.  The rest of the county is in the Belmont County District Library area and they can vote for this levy.  This includes everyone in the Martins Ferry School District, Bridgeport School District, Shadyside School District, Union Local School District, Powhatan Point and portions of Switzerland of Ohio School District in Belmont County, as well as portions of Harrison Hills and Buckeye Local School District located in Belmont County.  No one is taxed twice for a library levy. 

Doesn’t the library already have an operating levy?
No, in its 83 year history, the library has never sought local support to operate the library system.  This will be the first levy.  Martins Ferry passed a bond issue in 1967-68 that was used to build the main library in Martins Ferry. 

What will the library use the levy monies for?
The funds will give financial stability to the library, as well as enable us to add more of the best sellers, DVDs, audiobooks, and more to the library and branches.  It will restore lost hours over the past few years and enable all branches to be open to the public five days per week, like it used to be.  In addition, the funds will insure replacement and necessary upgrades to the internet and computer access at all locations.  The library would also like to add computers for children and early literacy.  The library also hopes to add adult, teen and children’s programs, including book groups.  The library suffered a 35% reduction in funds over the past few years and this funding has not been restored to libraries.

What happens if the levy does not pass?
If the levy fails, more cuts will occur.  This would include reduced hours, fewer materials purchased, and possibly  a couple closed branches. 

Town Hall Meetings
The Belmont County District Library announces town hall meetings at all six locations.  The purpose of these meetings is to encourage the public to attend and learn more about the proposed 1-mill levy the library is seeking on the November 5th ballot.  People are also encouraged to ask for any information regarding the library and branches.  If the levy passes, the library will be able to restore hours, purchase additional materials for all locations and to provide more stable funding for the library.  The public is welcome to suggest ideas they may have to improve library service.

The Bethesda Library will have a town hall meeting on Monday, September 23rd from 5-7; Martins Ferry Public Library will have one on Wednesday, September 25 from 4-6;  Bridgeport Library will have a town hall meeting on Tuesday, October 1 from 4-6; Powhatan Point’s library will host a meeting on Monday, October 7 from 5-7; the Victoria Read Library in Flushing will hold their  meeting on Monday,  October 14th from 5-7; and the final meeting will be held at Shadyside on Wednesday, October 16 from 5-7.

Please check the web site at or call the main library at 633-0314 for additional information.


Member of
SEO Regional Library Center

Martins Ferry Public Library
20 James Wright Place - PO Box 130
Martins Ferry, Ohio 43935
Phone: 740-633-0314
Fax: 740-633-0935
Yvonne Myers, Director