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Published April 12, 2011, 10:21 PM

'Vote No' Signs Opposing Library Begin To Pop Up

Grand Forks voters are being asked to go to the polls May 3rd to decide if they want to okay a one-cent city sales tax to fund a new library. There is opposition to the tax, as evidenced by some yard signs around town.

Grand Forks voters are being asked to go to the polls May 3rd to decide if they want to okay a one-cent city sales tax to fund a new library.

There is some opposition to the tax, as evidenced by some yard signs around town.

"We don't know what it'll look like, or what it'll cost for sure," said homeowner Jerry Moran, in reference to his "Vote No Library Sales Tax" sign.

The signs oppose the one-cent sales tax hike to pay for a new, bigger library for Grand Forks. His sign is just one of many in town.

"We literally cannot put them up fast enough," said City Council member Terry Bjerke.

Bjerke and the Concerned Citizens for Responsible Government group have been responsible for these signs.

This city council member has not been shy about opposing the new library or the sales tax to collect $20.8 Million, which he said will lead to more taxes.

"A bigger building with more people means more operational costs, which means a property tax increase. That is how the building is maintained."

A bigger and more modern building being another issue. Library board representatives have said they need more space to keep up with heavy traffic.

Bjerke looks at it as an extravagance.

"Most people I know don't blow up their house after 40 years. They maintain."

On the other side of the campaign, the Library Board is urging people to vote yes on what they see as a necessity for Grand Forks.

"Even though we've done this for three years, there's still a need for questions to be addressed," said Susan Mickelson.

Bjerke and Mickelson are on the same page about one thing: leaving it up to the voters.

"There's an open discussion. Some people support the project, some people don't," she said.

"We're going to give our point of view, they will give theirs, the important thing is to vote," said Bjerke.

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