Library, nonprofits ask county for money

Christina Muller, of Front Royal, and her daughter Rose, 7, look for a book inside Samuels Public Library in Front Royal on Thursday. The library is seeking $1.1 million from the county next year. Rich Cooley/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – Nonprofits and other outside agencies have asked Warren County for money in next year’s budget.

A few representatives came before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to make their pitch for funding in the fiscal 2017 spending plan. Agencies asked for a total of $1.45 million – an increase of 31.95 percent over the $1.1 million the board allocated in the current budget.

Samuels Public Library’s request for $1.11 million makes up most of the amount sought by outside agencies. The request is approximately 22.5 percent above the $910,000 the library received in the current budget.

Library Director Mary “Nicki” McGuire Lynch said Thursday some of the increased funding would go to hire another full-time employee for the children’s department. The library full-time employee in the section has a part-time helper. The department puts on seven to nine programs per week, the director said. The library also wants to increase the hours of its part-time janitor to full time.

“Basically we’re holding pretty firm with what we did last year,” McGuire Lynch said.

Danielle Furr, circulation technician at Samuels Public Library in Front Royal, sorts returned books on a cart inside the library on Thursday. Rich Cooley/Daily

The library also asked for additional funds to cover a 2.5-percent merit pay increase for employees and some money for increased insurance costs.

The director noted that since the library moved into its building, program attendance has increased 313 percent, circulation 87 percent, visits 61 percent and reference questions 168 percent. The library has 60 part-time adult volunteers and 60 teen volunteers.

Library officials are expecting to receive about $140,000 in state aid. The library also receives grants and donations to supplement its revenue.

The director acknowledged that the library doesn’t always receive all the money it requests.

“(County Administrator) Doug Stanley every year says ‘Nicki, ask for what you think you need,’ so I ask for what I think I need,” the director said.

Cheryl Harrison, circulation supervisor at Samuels Public Library in Front Royal, inside the library. The staff and volunteers combine efforts daily to fulfill the task. Rich Cooley/Daily

A few agencies not funded in the county budget this period put in requests. Many agencies asked for no increase in funding from Warren County. Several agencies asked for increase of only a few hundred dollars more than they currently receive.

The county required all agencies that asked for funds to include with the request their budget and the most recent audit as well as information justifying the need for the allocation.

The following agencies also requested funding:

• Warren County Community Health Coalition (Warren Coalition) – $6,500 – an increase of $250
• Blue Ridge Legal Services Inc. – $3,812
• Access Independence Inc. – $3,200
• Blue Ridge Opportunity Services Inc. – $30,000
• Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Virginia – $20,000
• St. Luke Community Clinic – $8,500
• Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum – $15,000
• House of Hope/Warren County Shelter for the Homeless Inc. – $11,500 – an increase of $1,500
• Concern Hotline Inc. – $4,000 – an increase of $500
• Skyline CAP Inc. Head Start – $26,994
• Lord Fairfax Small Business Development Center – $20,000
• ReSOLUTIONS Inc. (Apple Valley Mediation) – $3,500
• Friends of the Shenandoah River Inc. – $5,000 – an increase of $500
• The Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District – $12,500 – an increase of $500
• Blue Ridge Arts Council Inc. – $10,000
• Lord Fairfax Community College – $35,622 – a decrease of $3,777
• Lord Fairfax Community College Foundation – $50,000
• Browntown Community Center – $5,000 – an increase of $2,500
• Phoenix Project – $15,000 – an increase of $5,000
• Winchester Regional Airport – $5,000
• Middletown Volunteer Fire and Rescue – $6,500
• Arc of Warren – $2,500
• Front Royal Children’s Center Inc. — $5,000
• Lord Fairfax EMS Council – $13,472
• Help With Housing – $17,500 – an increase of $2,500
• Northern Virginia 4-H – $3,000

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com