On April 30th at 7 pm and May 1st at 5:30 pm in the Library Meeting Room, the Montrose Regional Library District will hold two important meetings regarding what library services its customers would like to see, in light of recent revenue reductions.
In 2012 and 2013, the Library District experienced a 9.2 percent reduction in property tax revenue, resulting in a loss of $165,000 each year. In order to balance the budget, the Board of Trustees cut $70,000 from the budget and drew $95,000 from reserve funds. “The District has reserve funds because the Trustees knew that the economy is cyclical and had the foresight to put money away for a rainy day,” said Library Director Paul Paladino. “But as we all know, the current recession has been more severe and lasted longer than a normal recession.”
The Library District now faces an additional 15 percent decline in property tax revenue in 2014 and 2015, and similar projections for 2016 and 2017. In light of these reductions, totaling nearly one-quarter of the District’s annual budget, the Board of Trustees is seeking public input on which library services are valued most.
“The District has a history of financial prudence, having built two libraries while incurring no debt with either, and receiving the highest possible opinions on annual audits,” said Paladino. “Library use is on the rise, and our staff continues to provide excellent service with fewer resources. Obviously, declining revenue means that we can’t continue to provide the same level of service. We must live within our means, and this entails making some cuts that are going to hurt.”
The Board of Trustees invites all interested residents to attend one of the public meetings and offer their feedback. The Trustees will use this information to help decide what levels of service to provide in the coming years.