The Art Circle Public Library could lose support from the state if its budget isn't restored to funding levels of 2009-'10 by the county. That means the county needs to add approximately $42,000 to the library's 2010-'11 budget.
Rebecca Stone, chair of library board of trustees, told members of the county commission about the problem last week during a public hearing regarding the county fiscal year 2010-'11 budget.
"The library submitted a proposed budget that included a substantial cut (10 percent) from last year's budget. The county then cut an additional four percent without the benefit of a budget review meeting for a total cut of 14 percent," Stone said. "We ask that you amend our budget to $457,453, 2009-'10 funding."
"If we don't make that five percent adjustment, then the state will remove 100 percent of its support," said 9th District Commissioner and County Commission Chairman Carmin Lynch.
"We've always met or exceeded the funding requirements for this and we've never had this come up before. It's something we'll have to repair," said 3rd District Commissioner Lynn Tollett.
The state provides numerous items to the library and funding.
"Losing this support on top of any cuts would be disastrous for the Art Circle PUblic Library," Stone said.
Lynch explained that the budget committee did cut an additional part time employee from the library's budget, which resulted in the additional four percent cut.
"The committee had a consensus that there would be no additional increases of labor this year and that's what happened," Lynch said.
Sandra Purcell, library board of trustees member, said they could apply for a waiver from the state if all the budgets in the county were cut the same amount across the board, but added, "Since all budgets were cut unequally we're not qualified to get that waiver from the state."
The county will either have to take the funds from the fund balance, which is already going to be below $700,000, or generate new funding in the form of an additional revenue such as a property tax increase and or wheel tax.
Reinstating the funding to the 2009-'10 level is something commissioners will have to address during the upcoming work session and special-called meeting Aug. 9. The work session begins at 5 p.m. and the special-called meeting will follow.