Council objects to library cuts

Budgeting: Coun. Alan Harrison argues in favour of a baseline funding model for branches

  • Nov. 26, 2014 10:00 a.m.

If you go to the spread sheet there

Some members of Salmon Arm council have vowed to fight cutbacks proposed for the local library and other small libraries in the region.

Council has been told that, come April 2015, hours of staff time at the library will be reduced, and Sunday openings will be eliminated.

Coun. Alan Harrison voiced his objections to the way the cuts across the region have been determined.

In 2013, the Okanagan Regional Library hired an accounting firm to review spending levels at all branches and verify that expenditures at each branch match local and provincial funding allocations for them.

Where spending is higher than revenue, service levels are being reduced.

Harrison disagrees with the premise.

“If you go to the spread sheet there,” he said at the Nov. 10 meeting of council, “basically every small community loses, and every large community wins.”

He said the formula doesn’t make sense if densities are taken into account.

He points out that a bigger branch has more taxpayer funding, so revenue is larger than expenses. In smaller branches, there’s less taxpayer funding, so expenses are higher than revenue.

Harrison notes library operating costs are similar regardless of the number of taxpayers to fund them.

“My argument is there should be a base level of funding.”

He noted the school district budget works on base-level funding, so that smaller communities can have a school.

“We need to fight for our situation… If it continues to go this way, small libraries will not be able to operate.”

Mayor Nancy Cooper represented Salmon Arm on the 24-member library board when the issue came up about three years ago and she voted for the plan. She said a lengthy analysis was done because communities were complaining.

“I understand what you’re saying; there should be a baseline.”

She asked if council would like members of the library board to come and explain the plan to them.

Coun. Chad Eliason agreed with Harrison.

“This looks like it will be a bigger issue. We’re the largest in the CSRD, so if we don’t stand up for the smaller branches, nobody will… I agree with Coun. Harrison and thank him. I hope we can do more to save the jobs and save the funding.”

 

Just Posted

Water quality makes swimming unsafe at three beaches near Salmon Arm

The Adams Lake Indian Band has issued a water quality notice affecting beaches at three campgrounds.

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges cadet program on gendered policy

He wants the policy to be more gender inclusive

Okanagan-Shuswap Weather: Summer sun for Sunday

The forecast for the week ahead shows some rain but plenty of sun and warm tempertures.

In photos: Uptown Askew’s Family Day

The Uptown Askew’s Family Day event was filled with classic cars, face… Continue reading

Word on the street: Has the wet July weather put a damper on your summer any?

Due to the wetter-than-usual July weather, the Observer asked: Has the wet… Continue reading

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry crop

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Donkeys await your hugs and scritches at anniversary event

Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge invites public to help celebrate 20 years of care.

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Second osprey chick dies, Okanagan web cam off

The second chick in an osprey nest featured on the Town of Osoyoos website has died

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

Fire department helps with body recovery in Okanagan Lake

Penticton fire department assisted the RCMP with the recovery of a body Saturday

Police on scene at Penticton beach

RCMP were at a what is believed to be a crime scene near Skaha Beach Sunday

Most Read