OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. - The next time you shell out cash for a traffic ticket, a piece of that is going to local libraries to help purchase books, materials, and even pay their employees.
Dianne Kooiker, Director of Herrick District Library says penal fines for education are a small percentage taken from your ticket and distributed to one of nine libraries in Ottawa Co.
"Here's a confession, I once got a ticket and thought, 'shoot, I'm paying my own salary," Kooiker said.
$749,000 in penal fines were distributed throughout the district, just shy of last year's estimated $1 million mark.
Bradley Slagh, Ottawa Co. Treasurer tells FOX 17 the allocation of funds from fines to libraries is nothing new, drafted into legislation during the 60's, saying many people don't even know it'd happening.
"If you're going to speed at least you'd like to know that the money is going to some place you'd like to know," Slagh said.
The money is given to libraries based on population, the largest piece of the pie goes to Herrick Library in Holland.
"We receive about $300,000 total from both Ottawa and Allegan County" Kooiker said. "That's roughy 5 percent of the libraries budget, we use that money for books, new computers, anything to help young and growing minds in Holland."
Kooiker says they're blessed to have such a large amount of money being given to them per penal fines. Other communities are not as well off and they rely on penal fines for their entire budget.
So the next time you hit the road, follow the rules, or else you'll be making a donation to a library near you.