Coffee County libraries in jeopardy if funds cut

Coffee County libraries in jeopardy if funds cut (Image 1)

Some Coffee County residents are worried the community is in jeopardy of losing two of its valuable resources.

The county is facing a budget crisis and some county commissioners have suggested the idea of reducing funding for the two libraries in Coffee County.

“There’s no other place you can go at 8:30 at night and apply for a job and have someone help you. The idea that everybody has Internet access is simply not true. We’ve definitely got people in this community that just don’t have it,” said library supporter Robin Dunn.

If funds are cut, library workers say they could not afford new books and could no longer continue some of the services and programs currently being offered.

The two libraries have an annual budget of nearly $1 million, which some leaders say is high compared to libraries in neighboring counties of similar size.

The county is facing the possibility of a property tax increase in order to help pay for a new jail and new school.

“What we were looking for and asked is for everyone to take a five percent budget reduction. The libraries have refused to cooperate in that. I’m disappointed in that, but not surprised,” said County Commissioner Mark Kelly.

Supporters are now fighting to save the libraries.

Dunn started an online petition Tuesday which has collected more than 650 signatures.

She plans to present it at the Coffee County Commission meeting next Tuesday at 6 p.m.

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