Grand Ledge Area District Library loses funds as city adopts Michigan motor vehicle code on super drunk driving

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By Hannah Watts

Grand Ledge Gazette Reporter

Grand Ledge Area District Library loses funds as city adopts Michigan motor vehicle code on super drunk driving

 

Pictured: Grand Ledge City Hall  Photo Credit: Hannah Watts

Pictured: Grand Ledge City Hall
Photo Credit: Hannah Watts

An individual caught driving with a blood alcohol content of .17% or higher is subject to severe penalty according to Michigan’s Super Drunk Driving law. The recently updated law increases penalties for individuals caught driving ‘super drunk’.

“There are a dozen or fewer ‘super drunk’ driving arrests per year in Grand Ledge,” said Kalmin Smith, mayor of Grand Ledge.

Cases are handled at either the state level or at the city level. Come April, Grand Ledge is adopting the Michigan motor vehicle code, allowing incidents that occur within the city to be handled locally.

“The state code changes routinely and so every five years or so the city adopts the updated code,” Smith explained.

Gregory Newman, Grand Ledge city clerk, stated that the city profits directly from this update.

“The city receives funding from the penal fines related to the offense,” Newman said.

photo 2

e Pictured: Grand Ledge City Counsel members discussing super drunk driving ordinance Monday.
Photo credit: Hannah Watts

Under the Michigan State Constitution, any penal fines handled at the state level become a source of funding for public libraries. At the Grand Ledge council meeting Monday evening, the council announced plans to adopt the state code

“When the city takes over, the library loses,” said Alan Miller, reporter at the Lansing State Journal. “Penal fines make up a good portion of library funding.”

According to Lise Mitchell, director at the Grand Ledge Area District Library, funding from penal fines make up 10 percent of the library’s total budget.

“Our funding is slowly chipping away and being diverted to other city entities,” Mitchell said.

The Grand Ledge Area District Library’s main source of funding comes from property taxes and then from penal fines.

“When we go up for renewal the library will most likely have to substitute that lost funding with property taxes,” Mitchell said. “This is nothing dire and won’t cause us to close our doors, but public libraries have already taken a big hit.”

Contact reporter Hannah Watts at wattsha2@msu.edu.

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