An Ashland City Council member is suggesting the city add a surcharge to performance tickets over $50 to help pay for reopening Ashland’s library.

City Council member Eric Navickas says he will propose the plan tonight at a Citizens Budget Committee meeting set to discuss the library. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in council chambers at the Ashland Civic Center, 1175 E. Main St.

The committee is considering asking voters in September to approve an annual levy of just over $1 million, about 58 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, to run the town’s library.

But Navickas suggested that the council should immediately raise property taxes 15 cents per $1,000 of assessed value instead and couple the increase with a ticket surcharge of a dollar or two.

The combination would allow the city to reopen the library by August, he said.

Navickas said his idea would fund the library for four months, giving time for voters to approve a larger levy that could be collected until Jackson County provides library service once again.

“My interest is getting the library open as soon as possible,” Navickas said. “It’s important to the health of the county and the morale of our community.”

— The Daily Tidings, Ashland