Ohio County Public Library Removes Capital Projects From Budget | News, Sports, Jobs

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Jimmie McCamick, left, chair of the Ohio County Public Library board of directors, discusses budget cuts at Wednesday’s board meeting. Photo by Joselyn King

WHEELING – There will be no capital improvement projects at the Ohio County Public Library in the next fiscal year as the library makes more than $ 361,000 in financial cuts.

The library board on Wednesday approved its 2021-2022 budget, which reflected the Ohio County Board of Education’s decision to cut its annual library allowance by three cents for $ 100 of value county land valued at two hundred.

This reduction is expected to reduce library funding for the next fiscal year from approximately $ 884,547 to $ 589,698, or $ 294,849.

The money paid by law by the Ohio County Commission to the library will also be reduced by an additional $ 25,000 next year as the county’s property values ​​decline, according to librarian Dottie Thomas .

Fundraising and contributions are also down, and the library has been unable to organize its annual book sale in 2020, she said.

The board expects to have $ 361,000 less to work with in the next fiscal year. The library’s annual budget is typically around $ 2 million.

On Wednesday, the library’s board met to approve its budget for the next fiscal year which included the necessary cuts. At the top of the list was the reduction in the amount of capital improvements that could be financed.

Typically, the library provides a budget of $ 100,000 to $ 200,000 for major building improvements. The current budget includes a budget line of just $ 871, Thomas said.

“There just won’t be any money for capital improvements this year,” she said.

The library building was opened in 1973. Many tables in the library are original from the building and now have loose legs, and Thomas said new furniture would be an example of something that would not be purchased in. the year to come.

Board member Greg Marquart said the library had, however, put money aside in recent years in an emergency fund. If a major problem arose with the building, there would be money to cover it, he said.

While the capital improvements have been phased out, the budget for building maintenance has been increased by $ 2,000.

Salaries at the library will remain the same, with no adjustment to the cost of living for employees, Thomas said. The costs of the PEIA and pension benefits will remain stable, while the cost of health care is expected to increase.

The library’s books budget has been reduced by $ 30,000, while the money for online subscription database resources has been reduced by $ 20,000.

A music subscription service was among those that were canceled.

“We are looking for the least used, with the highest prices” Thomas said. “We won’t cut them all off at a distance.”

She explained that the library spends more on traditional books after years of higher demand, and more on eBooks when their downloads exceed those of traditional books.

“We really need both” Thomas said.

Technology expenses are reduced by $ 10,000, “And that can be difficult for us” she said.

The library is owned by international library lending and cataloging groups that require the use of certain software, and Thomas said the library has already removed its technology subscription to OhioNet, an Ohio library consortium.

“We hope to be able to absorb the $ 10,000 cost. “ she said. “Cutting off OhioNet is one way. “

Adult library programs will be reduced by $ 3,000, as will children’s programs.

In most years, the library budgets $ 6,000 for conference travel, and that amount has been reduced to $ 3,000, according to Thomas.

The allowance for periodical subscriptions has been reduced by $ 2,000, as have those for DVDs. The budget for acquiring music-related CDs has been reduced to $ 500.

Purchases of operating supplies will be reduced by $ 2,000, and budgets for office supplies and postage will be reduced by $ 500. Fewer books will be sent for binding, which should save $ 500, she said.

The library also has a van from 2006 “Low mileage” it uses as a mobile book. The van’s maintenance budget has been cut by $ 500, according to Thomas.

Discounts are also planned in the areas of janitorial and cleaning supplies, utilities, and phone use and outreach.

At least one board member expressed a positive view of the library’s relationship with the board of education.

“We expect (the school board) to bring us back to the level of funding we had until the coming year,” said board member Ed Phillips.

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