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Sep 24,2009 Tri City News


Members of Port Moody’s library board scrimped and pinched every which way they could but potential funding cuts mean Port Moody Public Library will need to increase its operating budget next year.

Maintaining current service levels will cost nearly 5% more next year, Rosemary Rawnsley, the board’s vice chair, told councillor’s at Tuesday’s meeting. And while it means a 0.25% tax increase for homeowners, the proposed budget is an improvement on the 6.97% the board had forecast a year ago.

“We think this is a modest increase in the budget,” Rawnsley said, “given the increased service levels, no increased staff implications... as well as a reduction of provincial grants to libraries.”

The main cost drivers are contracted salary increases ($19,096), growing the library’s collections ($23,094), staff training ($6,700), equipment and building maintenance ($6,890), materials cataloguing ($2,950), trustee costs ($2,030) and inflation ($4,795) — for a total of $65,555.

Library board member Lynne Russell said while the library was happy to receive the provincial government’s per capita grant this year, many B.C. libraries weren’t so lucky, getting either nothing or a reduced grant. As a result, the board is taking a conservative approach and anticipating a decrease for 2010; combined with lower book sale revenue, the $11,349 loss essentially negates the $11,108 in cost savings the board had found in various areas of library operations.

Rawnsley said the board is also looking for support for three projects next year expected to cost $35,000.

The most expensive is a $25,000 space needs analysis as the library explores options for a larger facility. The study would build on a similar one done in 2004 by assessing the library’s functional space and how it fits with the community’s needs.

The board hopes to hire a fundraising consultant for $5,000 to help it develop a fundraising plan and strategic giving campaign.

And another $5,000 is earmarked for furniture and equipment projects; next year, it would be used for signs in the library so patrons can find their materials with minimal staff assistance.

Council opted to refer the matter to the finance committee for further discussion.

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