Dorchester County Council votes to have library tax referendum on November Ballot

Dorchester County Council votes to have library tax referendum on November Ballot

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Dorchester County voters will be deciding on a new tax increase come November. Monday, County Council unanimously voted, 6-0, to add a library tax referendum to the ballot. The money would go towards building two new libraries.

Dorchester County has an estimated population of 154-thousand people, yet just two libraries.

"The area is growing so fast and I feel like the library services are so far behind to serve this community," said Pinky Harriott, Director of Operations for the Dorchester County Library.

The George H Seago, Jr Library in Summerville is considered the main center. There's also the Jennie J. McMahan Library in St. George. However, many residents in the northern and southern areas of the county feel they don't have easy access to the library resources.

"The demands here are very very very high," said Harriott.

Harriott said on average they register 800 new library cards a month..

"I use the library, I'm still in school myself, so I spend a lot of time doing research," said Wilhelmina Thompson, library visitor.

Harriott hopes come the elections in November, voters understand all the resources a library provides - including free wifi.

"As times have changed the libraries have changed," said Harriott. "Our e-books, our dvds are large in demand, audio books are becoming very big."

Of course, nothing can beat a good old book, too.

Dorchester County Council Chairman David Chinnis said that they're aiming to raise $30 million with a property tax increase.

Chinnis said approximately $22 million will go towards building a larger, main library somewhere near the current one on Trolley Road. $8 million would be saved to build a second library, a few years later, in the southern part of Dorchester County.

Library lovers hope that in the future they will have more options.

"I definitely would be one to vote for a new library," said Thompson.

"As long as we have some more in Dorchester County, that would be great," said Cassandra Williams, library supporter.

Of course, with any possible tax increase there will be opposition. Some residents who did not wish to be named told Live 5 they would not be voting for the library tax referendum, because the resource is not a priority for them.

No word yet exactly just how much of a millage tax increase this will be, if approved.'"

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