A special election will be held May 3 to ensure the Webster Parish Library has the funds to continue offering its services to the public.
Following a public hearing Tuesday, members of the Webster Parish Police Jury gave a unanimous thumbs up to a resolution calling a special election that would renew the tax on all property subject to taxation.
"This is a 10-year operating tax at the same rate (12 mills) it's always been," said library director Beverly Hammett. "The current tax runs out December 31 of this year, and the new tax would go into effect January 1 of 2015."
WPPJ secretary Ronda Carnahan told jurors that a change in state law requires advertising the millage during a strict time frame.
"We had to start much earlier with this (procedure) than we normally would have," Carnahan said.
Act 267 of Louisiana law requires the advertisement in an official journal for not more than 60 days or less than 30 days before a public hearing of a special election to levy, renew or increase a tax.
According to the proposition and based on property subject to taxation, an estimated $2,944,100 is expected to be collected for the library during a one-year time frame. It specifies the use of collected funds is "for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, improving, furnishing, equipping, operating and/or maintaining public libraries in Webster Parish."
Hammett said her records show that at the end of 2013, all branches of the Webster Parish Library had more than 346,000 items in total circulation.
She also told jurors of plans to expand and renovate the 20-year-old Springhill branch.
"We have had three architects show an interest," she said. "We hope to have preliminary plans ready before we begin the campaign for our tax renewal."