Hot Sulphur Springs Library will stay open
November 15, 2016
The Grand County Library District (GCLD) held a special meeting on Friday, November 11 following the passing of an increased mill levy to sustain the libraries in the county.
Ballot measure 1B, which imposes a mill levy increase on property tax from 2.41 mills to 3.36 mills (a .95 increase) passed with 57.38 percent of Grand County Votes. The mill levy will allow the GCLD to maintain library services at their five open branches, thus no closure of the Hot Sulphur Springs Library—the concern of many citizens in the county.
Stephanie Ralph, Executive Director of the GCLD, added that she and the GCLD staff are very grateful for the support of the community in passing the mill levy increase.
"Libraries are so important to families, communities and everyone, really. The additional funds will allow us to move forward with paying off the debt and focusing funds on library services," Ralph stated.
The increased property tax revenues will be held in a debt retirement reserve for a balloon payment in 2019. After that, until 2026 the increased property tax revenues will be used for the annual payments and early retirement of the debt. This will ultimately save the library district $1.2 million, according to a press release from the GCLD.
The press release states that in 2016, the GCLD has saved $73,000 in operating expenses through cuts in the personnel, technology and media budgets. Given the uncertainties surrounding the property tax returns from the Henderson Mill, the GCLD board of trustees felt it was important to move ahead with a conservative budget in 2017, according to the press release.
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Starting in December, the amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will require all but two of the GCLD salaried employees to be reclassified as non-exempt hourly staff. Employers will pay non-exempt staff one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week. As the GCLD has limited data to anticipate how this will affect the staffing, the board agreed to increase the 2017 personnel budget by five percent
The next meeting of the Board of Trustee will start at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 15 in the Granby Library Meeting Room. The Board will hear public comments on the budget.