New Lenox Library Referendum — Our Next Chapter

Election Day is March 17, 2020. Early voting begins February 6 at the Will County Clerk's Office and March 2 at the New Lenox Village Hall. Early voting ends March 16. New Lenox Library offers voter registration services. 

To find out if you're registered and to learn more about voting in Will County, visit the Will County Clerk's Voter Services website


If YES, the Referendum passes

The Library will be able to:

  • Be open Sundays and extend weekday hours to meet the needs of working families and students
  • Expand and improve services focusing on early literacy and seniors while also increasing homebound delivery to serve more of those who cannot physically visit the library
  • Proactively maintain our 18-year-old building because the aging mechanical systems are failing and other physical aspects are reaching their lifespan

If NO, the Referendum fails 

The Library will have to:

  • Reduce hours by 15% over the next 3-5 years
  • Decrease services including limiting materials budget and homebound delivery service
  • Minimize maintenance to include only emergency or as-needed building repairs

The Referendum
& a Zero Tax Rate Increase


After surveying the community, we have heard that the New Lenox community wants more from their library, including increased hours, additional classes, events, and materials. In fact, 99% of those surveyed said the library is essential to the community! Due to our limited budget, we currently are unable to provide all the resources that you requested.

Why?

The current building is existing on a tax rate intended for a building 19% of its size. The library has NEVER had a voter approved operational tax rate increase since 1946. The library is almost 20 years old and the facility systems are aging past their life expectancy. To address facility issues, a professional assessment of the building concluded that the library needs over $5.4 million over the next 10 years. Although the library has saved approximately $400,000 in capital reserves so far, this amount will not cover all the costs.

A Zero Tax Rate Increase

The voter-approved construction bonds that were issued to build our current library are fully paid off as of December 2019. Therefore the library will no longer be collecting taxes for this fund. This presents an opportunity for the library to attend to building maintenance issues, increase hours, and maintain services while remaining at the same tax rate. The library's proposal asks to redirect the tax rate for construction bonds to the tax rate for operations. The net effect of this referendum will be a zero tax rate change.

Why Not Bonds?

An operating tax increase is a set rate change, whereas bonds require taxpayers to pay interest during time of repayment, similar to a home mortgage. Facility assessments and planning studies conducted by professional third-party companies have demonstrated a need for long-term sustainable funding. By ensuring building maintenance issues are attended to, the library will be able to maintain materials and program budgeting levels. By avoiding bonds, the library will also save taxpayers money since no interest will be involved from borrowing monies.

Library Referendum Informational Meetings

The informational meetings will be held in the Meeting Rooms at New Lenox Library.

  • January (Weekday Evening)
    Wednesday, January 22 at 7 pm
  • February (Weekend)
    Saturday, February 22 at 10:30 am

Graph comparing per capita of New Lenox Library to neighboring libraries. Table version on Frequently Asked Questions page