The Crawford County Library Board is deciding whether to call for a vote on a millage increase or find some other means to raise funds.
Crawford County Library System Director Eva White said the board talked about funding issues for the system during its regular meeting at the Ralph D. Graf Library in Mulberry on Tuesday.
The board previously discussed funding options with Rusty Myers, formerly of the Western Arkansas Planning and Development District, during its Jan. 17 meeting. One of the possibilities they discussed was a millage increase. Myers said the Crawford County Quorum Court has got to refer any increase to a vote. Furthermore, they can vote to put it on the ballot at either a special election or a primary or general election.
White said Tuesday’s discussion pertained to a possible millage increase to some extent.
“We discussed that we needed to prepare for that if we actually decide to do it at some point,” White said. “We need to get our statistics together so that we can know where we stand and so that we can have those to present to the public if and when we decide to do an election or some other option. We haven’t come up with any other options yet.”
During the January meeting, Jami Anne Balkman, chairwoman of the board, said part of the library system’s funding situation is 1998 was the last time it asked for increased funding for daily operating expenses. A millage increase was passed in Crawford County that year.
“The price of the things that we have to buy has gone up a lot in the last 20 years, and we’ve increased our staff so that we can do more programming and serve the public better,” White said. “Of course, the minimum wage being changed in the next three years is a problem for us because our income is no more, will not increase very much, and so that will be a problem for us probably in 2021.”
White said there are other funding issues in addition to these main ones.
White also announced a fundraiser meeting will be held May 23.
“We’re going to brainstorm and get some ideas where we can raise some extra funds for things that we need, like new computers and a new van and that sort of thing,” White said. “So we’ll be trying to raise the money for those things that we can’t buy right now.”