Letter: Davis, Can you guarantee all libraries stay open with a mill levy?
August 30, 2016
Can you guarantee all libraries stay open with a mill levy?
"Uneasy" is the one word that reflects my feelings after attending the last GCLD Board of Trustees meeting held at the Juniper Library in Grand Lake on August , 16th. Although a PowerPoint program presented by Trustee Mary Chance proclaimed that the library board had heard us, the public, about the possible unpopular decisions to close the Hot Sulphur Springs (HSS) Library branch and to turn the Kremmling and Grand Lake branches into kiosk models; I left the meeting still in doubt of the board's intentions. Yes, the library district must come to terms with their financial difficulties, both inherited and circumstantial. Trying to pass a .95 mill levy that will sunset in ten years, without reassuring the voting public and particularly the voters from the west end of the county, that the GCLD Board is committed to keeping all FIVE library branches open completely, is going to be very difficult. Why should I, a HSS resident and library supporter, vote to approve a mill levy if our town library is going to be closed anyway? Why would Kremmling or Grand Lake library supporters vote for a mill levy if there are no guarantees that those two libraries will never end up as kiosk models? If assurances can be made that any future cuts will be equal among all branches and again, all FIVE branches stay open as they are now, then I think the mill levy would have a chance of passing.
Public access to information and preserving the HSS Library for future generations to use is what this fight has been about. For those of you who do not live in HSS, young people in our town literally sit on the steps of our library after hours so they can pick up a Wi-Fi signal on their mobile devices. At the Fraser library board meeting, a former library board trustee spoke up and said that the two Grand County libraries that should stay open are the branches in HSS and Kremmling. His reasoning was that the libraries in these two towns are a vital part of their communities because the towns of HSS and Kremmling lack other resources that the towns of Grand Lake, Fraser, and Granby have. Yes, the GCLD Board of Trustees and the library district may have heard us; but what can they guarantee?
Hot Sulphur Springs