Library future

Commissioners consider taking portion of mill levy

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Moffat County commissioners are planning to divert more than a half a mill levy away from the Craig/Moffat County Library back to the general fund in a move that some library officials say may cause the library to shut its doors.

Commissioners said the .58 of one mill levy will feed back into the general fund to help other departments.

"The library has built up a fund balance of 138 percent over the last three years," said Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos. "At some point we have to determine how much we use that for. This money comes out of the general fund and it creates less and less for the other funds."

The Craig/Moffat County Library is responsible for its own budget, a point of contention for commissioners who weren't able to cut from its funds as they did to balance the budgets of other departments this year.

In 2003, the library received a total of $657,128 from the mill levy and other taxes and revenue. That's $72,374 less than two years ago.

If commissioners approve taking from the library's mill levy, it will have decreased from 2.053 to 1.3 in the last six years, library officials said.

Currently the library receives funds from a mill levy of 1.9 from a total of 60.186 county mills.

According to Library Board member Linda Booker, the library is being penalized because it's the only county department that still has reserves.

"There isn't enough to pay personnel costs and now they want to go into the library's reserves," she said. "I think people will be very upset if they know they're going to lose the library."

County Commissioner Les Hampton said that the library officials were given money to implement raises last year but didn't use the funds. Commissioners said they requested back the roughly $10,000, but it wasn't returned.

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or ahatten@craigdailypress.com.

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