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Library renovation question in Cole County fails


Cole County voters hit the polls on Tuesday and shot down the Missouri River Regional Library's request for a renovation.

Proposition Library asked voters to approve a tax increase to 35 cents per $100 on assessed property. The money would have been used to renovate and expand the library building in Cole County.

Cole County had a 16.66% voter turnout. On the question involving the library, 63.25% (5,653) voted no, while 36.75% (3,285) voted yes.

According to its website, the Library has been open to Jefferson City and Cole County residents for the last 50 years, and extensive upgrades are needed to extend the building's life, as well as to offer more programs and operational improvements.

"Our building was built with a 1964 levee, and we've done a great job of having that funding and making that work for as long as we have," Library spokesperson Natalie Newville said. "But, there are some critical upgrades that we have that have to be completed and so it's a great time to do it all at once."

The library was looking to improve the accessibility of the building, this includes larger bathrooms and elevators that will allow wheelchairs and strollers room to maneuver.

"They barely meet ADA code," Newville said. "There is just not a lot of accessibility with it."

The renovations would also include adding small and large indoor meeting spaces, as well as a study room and maker spaces, a technology training lab, and business incubator for job skills and development, computer training, and business support.

"We also have technological infrastructure that has to be updated in the library," said Newville. "A lot of people use the internet and lots of other technology and our infrastructure can't handle it all."

The library also would like to upgrade its outdoor spaces to include a reading garden and programming spaces to accommodate library and community events.

Newville said the pipes are also in need of replacement. "We just had one of them leaking in a staff member's office last week alone."

Newville said the library had 158,000 visitors in 2022.

Elections around the area

Several other elections are occurring around Mid-Missouri on Tuesday. In Cole County, Russellville residents approved a use tax and Wardsville voters decided to add a 3% tax on recreational marijuana will pass.

The City of Keytesville also voted to approve a tax on recreational marijuana.

A number of measures involving an increase in taxes failed throughout the region.

The Lake Ozark Fire Protection District also asked for an additional tax of “not more than twenty-five cents on the value of one hundred dollars assessed valuation” to fund the district. The measure failed by fewer than 40 votes (271-234).

In Camden County, the Richland R-4 School District asked voters to approve an operating tax levy by 90 cents, "valuation for the purposes of attracting and retaining quality certified and support staff, maintaining facilities, and meeting additional operating expenses." The measure also failed.

Check back for updates to this developing story.

View election results below.

Article Topic Follows: Your Voice Your Vote

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Marina Diaz

Marina is a Multimedia Journalist for ABC 17 News, she is originally from Denver, Colorado. She went to Missouri Valley College where she played lacrosse and basketball, and anchored her school’s newscast.


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