Dade County library budget debate - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Dade County library budget debate

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TRENTON, GA (WRCB) -- The Dade County Public Library is coming unbound at the seams.   About $80,000 in funding was lost from both the local school board and Trenton city, leaving the library in danger of possibly closing.  

The library says they can't operate with only what they get from the county. The county says they may have to. 

"You gotta do what you gotta do," says County Commissioner Ted Rumley. "As commissioners we know what our revenue is, we know what we can spend and can't spend." 

Rumley says they can't make up for the nearly $80,000 that the library lost when the school board and city dropped funding. The commission already gives nearly $70,000 a year.

Cherokee Regional Library Director Leica Eubanks says that's not going to cut it. 

"We've cut to the bare bones and we're down to 30 hours a week. The library needs to be a priority. There are things that are offered here that if we don't offer them, no one else here will," she says.

So where can the money come from?

A test balloon was sent up during last week's election, when voters were asked if Dade County should use county property taxes to fund the library. 

Even though it was just a straw vote, it passed with 71 percent in favor.

Rumley says he will not support a tax hike, and thinks the question was misleading.

"We're not gonna let the library close, I think that's what a lot of people though they were voting on. They may have to go on a strict budget," he says.

Eubanks says it can't get stricter than it already is. She says she believes the people would favor a tax hike to support the library, but she says that's not even necessary.

"We haven't been proposing more taxes we're proposing more tax dollars be put into the library," Eubanks said.

But, where do the more tax dollars come from without a tax hike?

"By either cutting other services in favor of supporting the library or whatever," Eubanks added. "They have to do it the way they are comfortable doing it."
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