Li­brary fund­ing re­stored

The Catoosa County News - - FRONT PAGE - By Mike O’Neal

A dis­pute about the county’s con­tri­bu­tion to the Ca­toosa County Pub­lic Li­brary 2015 bud­get was de­fused dur­ing the com­mis­sion­ers meet­ing Oct. 21.

By adopt­ing an amend­ment to the county’s bud­get that re­as­signs a line item for the county’s share of a grant to per­form main­te­nance and up­grade the Ben­ton Place Cam­pus fa­cil­ity.

A $50,000 grant from the state re­quires the county match that amount dol­lar-for-dol­lar.

The li­brary board, which is ap­pointed by the Board of Com­mis­sion­ers, ques­tioned the pro­pri­ety of the county’s $50,000 match be­ing in­cluded in its al­lo­ca­tion for li­brary op­er­a­tions rather than amount al­lo­cated for main­te­nance of all county-owned prop­er­ties.

About half of the li­brary’s an­nual bud­get is funded by the state. To con­tinue re­ceiv­ing state support, the county must pro­vide fund­ing that is no less than given the pre­vi­ous year.

Only when county gov­ern­ment makes across the board bud­get cuts — roughly equal for all de­part­ments — can its al­lo­ca­tion for li­brary ser­vices be re­duced with­out

risk­ing loss of state fund­ing.

Charg­ing the $50,000 grant to the li­brary’s op­er­a­tional bud­get would not only cut that amount from the li­brary, but would also trig­ger the po­ten­tial loss of all state support — about $550,000.

The amended bud­get that shifts those li­brary ex­pense items to gen­eral pub­lic build­ings main­te­nance means the county meets state “main­te­nance of ef­fort” re­quire­ments and will con­tinue to re­ceive its state stipend.

It also means the li­brary in Ring­gold keeps its state-pro­vided equip­ment and ser­vices such as com­put­ers, high-speed In­ter­net ac­cess, the Galileo vir­tual li­brary and par­tic­i­pa­tion in PINES, a statewide li­brary con­sor­tium.

“This will have no im­pact on the gen­eral fund,” com­mis­sion chair­man Keith Greene said of the amended bud­get.

While shift­ing build­ing re­pairs from one part of the county bud­get to another was ap­proved, es­sen­tially re­in­stat­ing the prior year’s fund­ing for the li­brary, the com­mis­sion­ers de­nied a re­quest to sup­ple­ment the li­brary di­rec­tor’s salary.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.