Published DateGILMANTON — The Year-Round Library board announced yesterday that it has only enough money on hand to keep the facility open for another eight months.
Citing the voters' Tuesday decision not to appropriate $45,000 in tax money that helps offset $70,500 in annual operations costs, a media release issued yesterday said the library has enough money raised through donations and fund-raising to operate until November.
The board asks interested members of the community to join them at a meeting on March 28 at the library at 7 p.m. to discuss the future fund-raising ideas.
The library opened in 2009 and since then funding its operations has been a divisive and contentious topic — often coming to a head at Gilmanton's Annual Town Meeting.
Although the voters have narrowly chosen to fund a portion of the operating costs though an annual petitioned warrant article over the past three years — some in town said the Year-Round Library Board had originally promised that it would not turn to the taxpayers for operating expenses.
Others in town have suggested the selectmen include the library funding in their annual operating budget but, over the years, the selectmen, comprising a variety of different people, have chosen to not to do so. Nor have they ever officially recommended for or against the article.
After failing to appropriate $75,000 in 2009, a majority of voters have supported a lesser amount since but this was the first vote since the town adopted the SB-2, or Official Ballot method of deciding town affairs and the number of votes cast on March 12 was roughly double the norm. The library support article failed 401 to 322.
In 2010, in an annual Town Meeting that lasted most of the day, supporters of the funding swarmed the end of the meeting just to cast their votes for the article, which passed by 10 votes.
Library directors declined to comment beyond the media release other than to say they would continue to look for donations and benefactors. Those contacted said they would have more to say after the March 28 meeting.