Rolling Hills officials appreciative of support of tax issue and look ahead to new library

By MATT PIKE

St. Joseph Post

A measure to lower the tax levy on the Rolling Hills Library, which serves Buchanan and Andrew counties, passed overwhelmingly in the Tuesday election.

Buchanan County voters gave the measure 62% approval and Andrew County saw 63% of voters approve the question.

In Buchanan County, 2,481 voted in favor with 1,513 voting against.  In Andrew County, 1,058 voted in favor with only 624 voting against.

Spokesman Alan Stolfus says the library district is appreciative of the supporters who understood what the district was trying to do and helped the measure pass.

“By right sizing our budget, our tax levy, so we can provide them with a modern new library here in just a couple of years,” Stolfus tells KFEQ/St. Joseph Post.

Stolfus says the next steps will be to combine the two levies for the library and begin seeking bonds for construction of the new library building

The passage will lower the tax levy on the library by three cents, removing the sunset over about half the levy, giving the district the ability to seek bonds to finance the new construction.

Stolfus compares financing for a new library to the difference between a 30 year and 15-year mortgage on a house.

“That part of the tax levy with that sunset clause we wouldn’t be able to go for 30-year bonds, we would have to go with 15-year bonds, which would be too expensive for our budget,” Stolfus explains.

Stolfus says having the sunset removed provides a better foundation to plan for the new library.

Stolfus says with a contractor already selected; the next step is preparing the financing for the new building.

“By the time you sell the bonds and get onto the contractors schedule, construction should start by the end of the year, looking at December time for starting construction,” Stolfus says.

The new library will be near Faraon and Riverside Road near the new UMKC School of Medicine. Hope is the new building will be open in 2026.