By Rosemary K. Otzman
In Tuesday’s primary election, voters resoundingly turned down both proposals for the Belleville Area District Library’s plan to build a $19 million library on the DNR lakeside property and to provide operating funds for 20 years.
The total for the combined votes of Belleville, Van Buren Township, and Sumpter Township was 4,032 no votes on the bond question and 2,487 yes votes.
For the operational millage question of one mill for 20 years, the voters cast 4,230 no votes and 2,617 yes votes.
To break down the votes, Belleville voters cast 492 no votes and 210 yes votes for the bond and 521 no votes and 228 yes votes for the operational millage.
Van Buren voters cast 2,368 no votes and 1,952 yes votes for the bond and 2,498 no votes and 2,045 yes votes for the operational millage.
Sumpter Township voters cast 1,172 no votes and 325 yes votes on the bond and 1,211 no votes and 344 yes votes on the operational millage.
Barbara Miller of the Common Cents Library Committee which opposed the library proposals pointed out that the committee supporting the proposals raised much more than the amount raised by the Common Cents group.
The Belleville Area Citizens for a New Library raised $6,297.99, according to the pre-primary report filed with the state. Just $3,358.08 was spent on promotions.
The Common Cents Library Committee raised about $900, she said, and was only able to purchase 100 signs to oppose the proposals.
The tri-community voters also supported 34th District Court Judge David Parrott who won with 65% of the vote in the five communities in the court district.
Tri-community voters also supported State Proposal 1 and voted against the Wayne RESA Regional Enhancement millage.
While many tri-community voters supported Kevin McNamara, D-Belleville, for county executive, Warren Evans unseated Robert Ficano for the Democratic nomination.
Wayne Mayor Al Haidous won the Democratic nomination for county commissioner to replace McNamara.
Total ballots cast in Van Buren Township were 9,024. There are 22,451 registered voters in VBT, so the turnout was 40%.
Problems erupted with Sumpter and Belleville tallies on Tuesday night so revised election totals were released. In Van Buren Township the final voting report was not issued until just before midnight.
The Belleville Area District Library Board will meet at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 12, and may suggest what its next steps will be for its library plans.
By Rosemary K. Otzman