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Lincoln County Public Library asks Supervisors for continued support

Lincoln County Public Library Director Henry Ledet came before the Board of Supervisors Monday to give a report and ask for the county’s continued financial support.

Ledet was joined by Assistant Director Katrina Castilaw and Board of Trustees Chair Helen Lynch.

Lynch addressed the board, thanking them for the paving of the library’s upper parking lot.

“We want you to know why your money is well-spent at the library,” she said.

Lynch said approximately 325 people have come into the library on a daily basis throughout the year, with that number rising to 450 on average during the summer months.

The lobby has been updated, with added charging stations, comfortable seating and two bronze sculptures purchased with private funds.

Lynch commended Children’s Programs Director Kasie Beth Brown, saying she “did a bang-up summer program this year.”

The 40 or so volunteers who make up the Friends of the Library implemented a program to get library cards in the hands of all second graders in the county. The effort was funded by Walmart and a grant, and over 500 students received new library cards, which their parents had to pick up at the library. Smith Insurance will sponsor the program going forward as the library makes it an annual effort.

Castilaw secured a grant for a website upgrade and two digital bulletin boards in the library.

Lynch said the big cuts in state funding for the library — from $142,000 down to $59,000 — are about to start affecting salaries, book purchases and other functions of the library. Two workers retired and no one was hired to replace them, so those salaries were removed from the budget.

The library asked a continuance of what the county has provided in its budget in the past — one mill. In relation to property tax, one mill is equal to $1 in tax, which is levied per every $1,000 of determined taxable value of properties.

Ledet said the roof has several leaks and therefore repairs will be needed. County engineer Ryan Holmes said he would contact the roofing company to take care of the issues, since the roof was still under warranty.

“Having a good library is an economic development tool,” said Chancery Clerk Tillmon Bishop. “Businesses looking at the area ask about our library.”

“Keep the good work up,” District 2 Supervisor Bobby Watts said.

Taxes

Bishop noted that any citizen who still owes property taxes for 2014 must have those taxes paid by the close of business on Aug. 31, to avoid having to surrender the property on a tax deed to whomever has been paying the taxes. The land owner will also be responsible for all the fees and interest accrued on the taxes owed.

“If you own property, taxes are a part of what goes along with it,” said Bishop, “and you know that going in.”

In other business, the board:

• Approved updating the county’s online maps with new aerial photography, as part of an interlocal agreement with 10 other counties (most in the northern part of the state) to cut overall costs, with a cost of $20,000-$25,000 for the county. The monies are already available and no budget increase is needed, said Tax Assessor Blake Pickering.

• Approved two land sale strikes, refunding bid money to the buyers of two land tracks on Brignal Road that had already matured to ownership by the state when they were sold.

• Accepted a bid from CAT on the purchase of an excavator with cutter for District 4, in the amount of $62,014.

The board will move its next regular meeting to Tuesday, Sept. 5, since county offices will be closed Monday, Sept. 4, in observance of Labor Day.