County approves additional funds for library

The Roddenbery Memorial Library continues to struggle with state and local funding cuts, but on Tuesday night Grady County commissioners gave the library a boost albeit a small one.
Vice Chairman T.D. David reminded his fellow commissioners Tuesday night the board had agreed in the summer during their budget negotiations to reconsider additional funding for the library at the end of the year.
“I haven’t said anything up here about the library in six months, but I’ve wanted to,” Vice Chairman David said.
He urged the board to consider taking $5,000 out of the county’s contingency fund to provide an additional appropriation for the cash-strapped library.
“The library is the portal, if you will, to better education in the community. It makes the difference in people staying in school and graduating. It means an awful lot to this community, both young and old,” David said.
The county currently provides $100,000 in funding for the library. On Tuesday night, RML Director Pamela Grigg reported to county commissioners that the library’s state funding had been reduced to $112,000.
The city of Cairo contributes $237,500 and the Grady County Board of Education budgets $25,000 for the public library.
Commissioner LaFaye Copeland pointed out that $113,536.55 remains in the contingency fund. “I see we’ve got the money and I have no problem giving it to the library. I’m all for the library,” she said.
Commissioner Elwyn Childs concurred, but noted this was a one time appropriation. “We may not have the money next year. We all hope things get better, but we can’t live on hope,” Childs said.
Commissioner Charles Norton noted that the sheriff’s office and jail would likely come in well over budget and if county revenues came in less than projected the board would need the remaining contingency funds.
“This is the game we play. It’s a very serious game. It’s a game of priorities and we have a limitation on money. It’s just a matter of where you spend it,” David said.
The board voted unanimously to provide the one-time $5,000 appropriation.
Library Trustee Lois Duncan, who attended Tuesday night’s meeting with Director Grigg, thanked the board for their support. “We want you to know the library is part of Grady County. We’re a part of you and we thank you for everything you do for the library,” Mrs. Duncan said.

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