Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lisbon Town Chair Advocates Paying for Library Services on the Cheap

Looking at an alternative that would reduce the town's library payment by $200,000 or so.

Haass Library fate in question. Town may consider stopping its payments to library. (Sussex Sun, 11/8/2011)

Excerpt: Town Chairman Matt Gehrke says the Town Board may have an obligation to consider no longer funding its share of operations of the Pauline Haass Library and instead require town residents to pay a county library tax.

Gehrke emphasized that he and other members of the board would prefer to extend the agreement that provides that the town and Village of Sussex share in the operational costs of the library beyond 2014. However, he said any future agreement must have a new formula for determining how the communities share those costs.

If the existing formula is not changed, Gehrke said, town supervisors are obligated to look at the alternative of the Waukesha County library tax. The tax is imposed by the county on communities that do not provide library services.

The revenues from the tax help pay for the operations of libraries such as Pauline Haass that provide services to communities that do not have their own library. The county library tax levy represents about $200,000 to $250,000, about half of the approximately $400,000 to $450,000 the town contributes to the library, according to Gehrke.

"I know that there are some members of the board that may not agree with me on this, but I think we have to look at alternatives," he said in an interview last week.

"There are members of the (town) board and some residents of the town - and I am not just talking about those people who were involved in incorporation - who are now hesitant about entering into any future long-term agreements with the village because of what has happened," he said

Related articles: 
The challenges of shared governance and funding.  (9/28/2011)
Consensus building for new joint library agreement.  (7/22/2011)
Sussex, Lisbon:  Local politics and library negotiations.  (5/28/2011)
Negotiation to continue after information-gathering process.  (10/8/2010)
And the beat goes on.  (10/4/2010)
Differences of opinion of library funding continue.  (9/18/2010)
Leaders of Village of Sussex, Town of Lisbon clash over funding for library. (8/26/2010)
Will annexation resolution interfere with negotiations over joint library agreement?  (8/4/2010)
Proposal to change library funding formula gets cool reception.  (6/7/2010)
Town of Lisbon Chairman proposes new funding formula for library.  (5/31/2010)

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