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Pierce County Library Board to adopt 2010 budget and address other issues

At its December meeting the Pierce County Library System’s Board of Trustees plans to adopt its 2010 budget, elect board officers for 2010, and address other issues. The Board of Trustees will meet at the Pierce County Library System’s Processing and Administrative Center, 3005 112th St. E., in Tacoma on Wednesday, Dec. 9, from 3:30 to 6 p.m.

Two of the primary issues the board will focus on include the following.

2010 budget–The Board will conduct a second and final public hearing on the Library’s 2010 budget. The Board is expected to adopt a $28.6 million budget, which addresses a $1.5 million shortfall. The shortfall stems from the Library’s revenues not keeping up with the costs to run the Library, as a result of reduced values on assessed properties and a drop in construction of new buildings throughout the county.

A portion of the shortfall is connected to the trustees voting not to override the Implicit Price Deflator (IPD) limit during their November meeting. By law, local governments, including the Library, are allowed to increase their levy by 1 percent over the amount of tax revenue from the previous year or the IPD. This year the IPD is less than 1 percent, and if the Board decided to access the additional 1 percent (which amounted to $509,000) they would have needed to vote to override the IPD.

Some members of the Board discussed not overriding the IPD as being responsive to the public, many of whom are suffering economic hardships. Members of the Board deliberated that not passing the override would be responsive to the taxpayer by not putting further financial pressure on already stressed individuals and businesses.

Guiding principles for the 2010 budget:

Board officers–The Board will elect a new chair and vice chair for 2010. Currently, Gene Matsusaka, chair’s the Board and J.J. McCament is vice-chair. Other trustees include Steve Albers, Allen Rose and Budd Wagner.

The Pierce County Library System’s 17 libraries and three bookmobiles bring people together, enrich lives, and provide children and adults with opportunities to learn.

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