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Proposed budget cuts threaten GBPL staff and programming
Small cut could mean loss of additional funding
new vlc GBPL-pic-dandan
Wednesday afternoon, Dan Dan the Magic Man performed at the Great Bend Public Library as part of the Reading Rocks Summer Library lineup. As Youth Services Director Amy Mayhill greeted families in attendance, she alerted them to proposed cuts to the librarys 2019 budget, and urged them to contact city council members to let them know what impact the library has had on their lives. - photo by VERONICA COONS, Great Bend Tribune

What the Great Bend Public Library stands to lose if the Great Bend City Council follows through with proposed budget cuts

City of Great Bend Budget reduction of $37,000
Disqualify for State Aid in 2019 $3,500
Disqualify for Basic System Grant $21,000
Additional CKLS aid: $16,500
Programming grant $250
Continuing Ed grant $1,000
Conference Grant $2,000
Large Print Book allotment $6,000
Technology upgrade grant $1,000
Pathfinder grant $400
Courier Grant $2,400

Total potential reduction: $91,050

The City of Great Bend’s proposed mill reduction to the Great Bend Public Library had library administration scrambling this week to inform board members and the public of the exponential ramifications a mill can make.
Great Bend Public Library Director Gail Santy called a special meeting of the library’s Board of Directors to discuss the ramification, including the possibility of staff reductions, and the reduction of hours the library would be open for the public. The impact would also mean the possibility that classes and services could be reduced or eliminated, and that outdated technology will not be upgraded, Santy said.
With a majority new city council in charge of this year’s budget, Santy asked board members for permission to meet with each council member to provide information about the state statutes and the city’s role in library governance and budget.
It doesn’t sound like much to drop the library’s mill levy from 5.99 to 4.9, resulting in a budget reduction of $37,000 actual tax dollars. But, that reduction is tied to other funding opportunities which, if the city follows through, would be lost, Santy said.
In order for the library to continue to qualify for state aid in the coming year, either the mill levy needs to stay the same as the previous year, or the actual tax dollars allocated the library needs to stay the same. But, with both being reduced, this will disqualify the library from receiving state aid. Again, that state aid doesn’t sound like much — a mere $3,500. But, if the library is disqualified from receiving state aid, then it is automatically disqualified from receiving aid from the Central Kansas Library System. And that’s where it starts to hurt. The total loss of funding in actual dollars from CKLS would be $53,050. Add to that the $37,000 budget cut from the city, and the $3,500 state aid, and the reduction becomes a whopping $91,050.
The budget request from the library submitted to the city council was the same as last year, $755,050, according to documents obtained from Santy.
At the meeting, Santy outlined a plan to inform library supporters. A map of the city’s voting wards will be posted in the library lobby with council member contact information provided. Each patron checking items out will receive a bookmark printed with a call to action and council member contact information also. The library will send an e-blast to patrons and use social media to promote the library, as well as traditional media.
While it is hoped the council will act restore maintenance of local support, restoring eligibility for funding from other entities, Santy asked board members to mark their calendars and plan to attend the city’s budget hearing at 6 p.m., Monday, Aug. 20 at City Hall.