ALGOMA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The Algoma Township board has decided to let residents vote on whether to pull funding from the Kent District Library.

A proposal before the board would redirect the township’s millage dollars from KDL. The closest KDL library is the Krause Memorial Library in Rockford.

Instead, Algoma Township would partner with neighboring Solon Township to fund their own library, which could be a new building or a partnership with additional neighboring townships like Sparta or Cedar Springs.

Cedar Springs is considering joining KDL. Algoma Township Supervisor Kevin Green said the city has declined an interest in partnering for library services.     

During a Thursday meeting, the board decided that whether or not to pull funding from KDL would be a question on the May ballot. It tabled the decision on what they should do to fund a library if voters say they want funding pulled from KDL. The board said the plan needs more public input.

“I was prepared to vote for it but one of my trustees made a really good point about, ‘Let’s see what the residents really want with this and let’s get this all figured out.’ We should be able to do that within the next three months,” Green said.  

The township supervisor said the plan would save taxpayers money. Critics are concerned it will reduce access to library services.

The township supervisor said they needed to approve the measure before Feb. 7 to get it on the ballot in May or the township would be included in a future 15-year millage proposal to fund KDL.  

Peggy Barber, an Algoma Township resident who opposes the plan, said staying with KDL is the best option.

“Without a clear plan we are at great risk of having no library services if we cut ties with KDL,” Barber said.

If voters decide to leave KDL, the township is required to provide some level of library services, which could mean a new library at the township hall property.

Green said the main focus was not related to having more control over the library but to better address opportunities for future township infrastructure and building projects.

“We’d be able to put away 150 grand per year for a loan and that gets you two, three million dollars for a building. We already have that and then we have the $1.3 million from ARPA funding that we have not decided what we’re going to do with,” Green said.