Here is the actual preliminary budget the board of trustees approved a week ago in Aberdeen. The one big thing to keep in mind with this budget is that we are borrowing $238,212 from our reserves to fund it.
To put that in perspective, that is just over the 2009 budget of one of our smaller libraries, Packwood in Lewis County. I don’t think this is a major issue, its part of the new normal we seem to be in when writing our budgets, spending down our reserves until we have to go back to the voters for a levy lid lift.
Here are the major changes that make up the budget:
- Defunding the Timberland Regional Library Foundation. This has been a major issue the last few meetings, and I apologize for only bringing it up now. The problem for me has been that I am of two minds on the issue. While I see need for a fully functioning foundation, I also realize that the cost to develop one may be beyond our resources.
- Lowering the materials budget from 14 percent to 13.7 percent of expenditures. Library director Mike Crose commented at our meeting that he’d like to look at the materials budget on a per-capita basis because he feels that it might be a better way to compare our materials spending to other systems.
- Filling a previously unfilled position in information services (IT), adding a half time page position in Tumwater and a children’s associate in Centralia. The addition in Centralia brings their staffing to par with other similar sized libraries.
- To balance these additions, we’ll finally cut the community relations position, which had not been filled last year.