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Yelm Timberland Regional Library
Photo courtesy of Guustaaf Damave

“The Timberland Regional Library system will ask voters for more in property taxes in the February 2009 election.

‘We’ve never asked the voters for an increase in our levy,’ executive director Jodi Reng said Friday [Sept. 26]. ‘It’s not like we keep coming out with our hands out.’

Library trustees voted Thursday night to seek the levy increase and make cuts, such as eliminating Sunday hours and instituting a hiring freeze.

The library levy has dropped from 50 cents to 34.5 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

The district had a budget of almost $18.13 million, but expenses were $61,678 more than that in 2007. The district had to use reserves to maintain services, officials said. In 2008, the projected shortfall is $1.94 million, and even with the cuts, an additional $1.87 million in 2009. If all of that happened, the reserve would fall to an unacceptable level of about $4 million, library spokesman Jeffrey Kleingartner said.

If the district taxes at the maximum rate, the owner of a $250,000 piece of property would pay $125 a year to the library district, up from $86.25 a year, an increase of $38.75 more a year. The tax would start being collected in 2010.

However, Kleingartner said, the district might not have to tax that high.

‘We will not take more than we need,’ he said…

Along with increased taxes, the district has decided to make these reductions:

Elimination of Sunday hours (at eight locations and Central Reference Services) beginning Oct. 5. That will save about $150,000, That affects the 1 to 5 p.m. hours in Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Yelm, Shelton and Centralia.

A hiring freeze will be instituted on vacated positions. Immediately, it will not fill four positions, which will save about $200,000.

The 2009 budget for purchasing materials will be reduced by $367,000. That’s a 10 percent reduction.

Reduction in the usage of substitutes for vacations, illnesses and outreach activities will save about $150,000.

How to comment

The public can comment by calling executive director Jodi Reng at 360-943-5001 or toll-free at 877-284-6237. Timberland Regional Library serves Thurston, Lewis, Mason, Grays Harbor and Pacific counties at 27 libraries and seven library service partner locations,” quoting The Olympian.

[Ed. Note: Yelm area property tax payers need to know that the city of Yelm & the Timberland Regional Library will be turning to them at some point in the near future for a request for funding of a new Yelm Library. An extension on the current rented building expiring lease beyond 2012 can not go on forever. This writer finds very interesting the fact that the Yelm Mayor Harding, the Yelm City Council, Timberland Library or their Foundation, the Yelm Library Advisory Board nor current Yelm Library leaseholder Prairie Park’s Margaret Clapp have not gone to the area’s public with the urgent requirements to get them involved, interested and planning for a new library. The silence on this public issue is deafening!]

Posted by Steve on October 6, 2008 at 5:50 am | Permalink

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