Mingo County Library Board in financial crunch

Rachel Dove rbaldwin@civitasmedia.com

May 8, 2014

by Rachel Dove


WILLIAMSON - Pam Warden, Mingo County library director, appeared before the Mingo County Commission during their regular meeting on Wednesday to discuss financial problems and to ask for assistance to alleviate the problem.

Warden presented the 2012-2013 audit report, along with a request for the second half of he Fiscal Year 2014 allotment. She said she would also like to ask for additional funding of $10,000 to meet the budget. Warden explained that if they don’t get the funding, they may have to sign a maintenance of effort agreement with the West Virginia Library Commission.

Commission President Greg “Hootie” Smith asked Warden what that agreement would mean for the local library, and was told that the Mingo County Library Board would still exist and would meet as usual, but any decisions that had to be made would be required to be approved by the state.

Smith asked what Warden believed to have been the cause of the budget problems, and Warden said the cost of books has increased, as well as the electric bills and other utilities. Warden said the budget for books is $12,000 for the library in Delbarton and the other libraries are budgeted at $6,000 each. Smith asked Warden how her budget is made up, including the contribution they receive from the commission.

Warden explained that the commission contributes $25,000, the Mingo County Board of Education contributes $75,000, and that $100,000 is matched with aid from the state, which is approximately $50,000 per library in Mingo County. A total of four libraries are operated on this funding.

Smith asked if the $10,000 is the total needed to make it through the end of the fiscal year and Warden responded that they need approximately $9,500, but were asking for $10,000. She was asked if the library board also was asking the school board for a contribution toward the $10,000. Warden said they are going to ask, but are not hopeful they will receive it.

She also reported that the Delbarton Kiwanis Club had donated $500 to the library to use toward the summer reading program. Warden said she has approached different coal companies about donating to the library, but nothing has been committed so far.

Dave Farley, a Mingo County school board member, was present at the meeting, and told the commissioners that the board had held a meeting Tuesday evening and said that the board wanted to end the year with a 3 percent surplus and that, instead, was only able to end with a $15,000 surplus, which is not even close to 3 percent.

Therefore, he told the commission that the school board cannot contribute additional funds, and it is already in the levy for their contribution. Smith asked if the only contribution from the school board is what comes from the excess levy funds and Farley said it was, a total of $100,000 with $25,000 to the Williamson City library and $75,000 to the others in the county.

Commissioner John Mark Hubbard asked Warden when they needed the $10,000 she had requested and she said, “No later than the end of June to meet this year’s budget.”

Smith told Warden that the commission’s budget is at the end also, and would suggest that the commission make a total contribution of $17,500. The commission will then schedule a meeting to discuss the needs of the library board in more depth and see what the county can do to help with the finances.

Smith made a motion to pay the second allotment of $17,500 to the library board, and it was approved.