Funding of Beltrami Co. Libraries Under Debate at County Board Meeting
Kitchigami Regional Library System representatives spoke in front of the Beltrami County Board of Commissioners last week to propose an alternative to what they call severe budget cuts in the form of a 3% increase to the county’s financial contribution.
KRLS reports to have a reserve of approximately $4.6 million, which has accumulated over the past decade from partnering counties included in the library system. Spending plans include buying down funding requests for the counties within the next 10 years, designated capital improvements, and a six-month operating reserve.
If working at the minimum budget required by Minnesota legislation, libraries in Bemidji and Blackduck would be looking at numbers established in 2011 for costs in 2022.
To make progress on the discussion, Tim Sumner, Beltrami County Board Chairman and District 4 Commissioner, encouraged more open communication between the entities.
Approval for the preliminary 2023 budget is expected to take place at the September 20th meeting.