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Published May 03, 2011, 06:45 PM

Mixed Opinions About Paying for Library Through Sales Tax

Grand Forks will soon find out the fate of a new library. Residents went to the polls Tuesday to decide whether or not to temporarily raise the sales tax one percent to pay for it.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

Grand Forks will soon find out the fate of a new library. Residents went to the polls Tuesday to decide whether or not to temporarily raise the sales tax one percent to pay for it.

The word from workers at the polling places is that the turnout has been steady throughout the day.

Voters filed into Lewis and Clark Elementary School throughout the day. Workers at the polls say things have been steady.

And some of them were not afraid to share their opinion. As a former school teacher, Lila Nelson believes a library is an important part of the community. But feels she needs more information before she can vote "yes."

"I would like to see more concrete design or what it's going to be like. I think our library is just fine except that it needs a little renovation," Nelson said.

Some informal exit polling showed many voting "no," mostly because of money. A yes vote would raise the sales tax in Grand Forks by one percent to raise $20.8 million for up to three years, whichever comes first.

"I think the arguments are made that this tax is never going to disappear. I think that those are legitimate concerns," said Aaron Custer, who voted no.

"I don't believe that we should fund our library by increasing the sales tax. I think it should be through private funding and other works by the library and private contributions," Austin Theisen said after her voted no.

Others feel raising the sale tax for new library would be well spent.

"I think it's time for some updates and a new library is good for the city. Shows we are progressive," yes voter Patricia Bohnet said.

Polls closed Tuesday at 7 p.m. Check WDAZ.com for full results.

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