Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Libraries Spared in Cobb County Budget

Excerpt: The libraries were saved, ending a public outcry, but a revised budget that Cobb County passed on Tuesday had public safety officials warning of longer response times and service delays.

The approved budget closes a $31.5 million budget gap through a mix of cuts, one-time money and reserve funds. All county employees, including public safety personnel, will be required to take five furlough days, and requires a 10-percent cut for each department.

One of metro Atlanta's largest counties, Cobb is facing unprecedented times, forced to respond to a revenue shortfall after enjoying only surpluses in recent years. It's been an all too familiar situation for surrounding counties such as DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett, all dealing with their own budget crises.

Cobb's budget does not include a tax increase and keeps all county libraries open, a boon for library supporters and a retreat for Commissioner Chairman Tim Lee. The county's top official backtracked on his original proposal to close 13 of the county's 17 library branches after hearing from supporters, business leaders and state lawmakers

Related articles:
Thousands of Cobb County residents speak out against closing 13 library branches. (4/12/2011)
Save Cobb libraries.  (4/11/2011)
Tim Lee's master plan for Cobb County public libraries. (4/8/2011)
Cobb County Public Library Systems raises fines, cuts hours.  (10/3/2010)

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