Reedsport area voters will decide in May whether to create their own local library district.

The Douglas County Board of Commissioners Wednesday approved placing the Lower Umpqua Library District on the May 15 primary ballot. Voters will decide whether to approve a district, along with a 39 cents per $1,000 property tax to fund it. They’ll also determine who will sit on the district’s board of directors.

The library district would cover roughly the same area as the Lower Umpqua Hospital District, including the communities of Reedsport, Gardiner and Winchester Bay.

The library has strong support in Reedsport. It was one of the first libraries to reopen after the county pulled out of funding its former branches last spring. Unlike most, it has been able to keep a paid staffer on board.

The commissioners last week approved putting the Drain-area North Douglas Library District on the May ballot. Voters there will be asked to approve a 44 cents per $1,000 property tax to fund that district. The Drain library has remained closed since April 2017.

The Douglas County Library System formerly included 11 branches, but the county withdrew funding for them in 2017. Since then, nine have reopened under the direction of either city governments or volunteer groups. Most are operated with all-volunteer staff.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at 541-957-4213 or ccegavske@nrtoday.com.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4213 or by email at ccegavske@nrtoday.com. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

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