Archive for Thursday, July 13, 2000

Eudora library requests $15,000 budget increase

July 13, 2000

Increasing patron needs has led the Eudora Public Library to ask the county for a $15,000 increase in its 2001 budget.

Bickell Lund, library president, said the increase would go toward basic operating expenses and provide more hours for existing help.

"(The library) has not run as smoothly as it needs to run," Lund said.

Within the past year, an Internet-accessing computer and a computer containing titles of all its books have been added to the library. Lund said she hopes to add another computer for children, making learning and educational games available. These additions created the need for more man hours to teach patrons unfamiliar with the new technology. She said this is to be expected with any technological advancement.

"A lot of times, it's difficult to provide that support during library hours," Lund said. "We've now put all our books on a computer system, which was quite a chore."

Dave Montgomery, library treasurer, said with more people beginning to use the library due to more technology and continual growth, the increase is justified.

"We're serving more and more patrons all the time," Montgomery said. "All of our other categories of operating expense we've held the line on them. We're just trying to focus on what appears to be the most demand from out patrons and what they're looking for."

The library is funded by the Eudora Township, which includes Eudora and encompasses a surrounding area. The outer area starts at the Kansas River south to north 900 road, just north of Vinland. The western boundary begins on east 1800 road going east to the Douglas/Johnson County line.

Jim Minges, director of the Northeast Kansas Library System, said the .463 mil levy increase is considered small. The current mil levy for the library for the library is 4.090, bringing it to 4.553.

"It has one of the lowest per capita budget of the 43 libraries I work with," Minges said. "I'm not at all surprised they're asking for that much. It's kind of a stored up kind of need."

A mil, in this case, is equal to the total assessed valuation of the entire township, divided by 1000. Minges said on the average, the library attains $11 per person throughout the entire township from taxes. He said even with the increase, the library still remains average for the libraries he deals with.

"That's pretty much were most of our libraries are at," Minges said. "Most are between 2 and six mills."

The township must approve the new budget by August 15th.

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