News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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September 8, 2010

Vigo Library board mulls 2011 budget

TERRE HAUTE — Silence served as consent Tuesday afternoon at the Vigo County Public Library board.

No members of the public attended the open hearing to discuss the 2011 Library Operating Budget, and the board opened and closed the 1-minute meeting in record time.

Library executive director Nancy Dowell explained that the board will officially adopt the budget at its Sept. 20 meeting. The Vigo County Council already gave its blessing on the plan at its Aug. 25 meeting.

“Going forward, we are still anticipating a $565,000 shortfall due to property tax caps,” she said of the 2010 and now 2011 budgets. The library system saw branch closures as a result of this year’s cuts. When asked if those branches might be reopened at some point, Dowell wasn’t optimistic. “Probably not within the next two to three years,” she said.

Other big issues faced in this budget include the 20 percent increase in health insurance premiums. The library is not on the city or county insurance plans, but rather buys its coverage through a state consortium. This year, the facility spent more than $483,000 on premiums, she said.

The library is still looking for other ways to generate more money to help offset the loss of property tax revenue, she said. Other libraries across the state have raised their late fees.

“That’s still a consideration we have not taken yet. That’s still on the table,” she said.

The board next meets at 7 p.m. Sept. 20 in the library.

Brian Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or brian.boyce@tribstar.com.

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