The Samuels Public Library in Front Royal would receive more money from Warren County in the next year’s budget if the Board of Supervisors approves the agency’s request.
Library Executive Director Michelle Ross presented their proposed fiscal 2022 budget to the supervisors at a board work session Tuesday. The Library Board has requested $1,121,362 in local funding, approximately $108,503 more than the county included in its current budget. The library’s proposed spending plan assumes total revenue of $1,348,862.
The library could lose its state funding if the county reduces its local allocation, according to information provided by the agency.
The library provided justification for its funding requests as part of the county’s budget-creation process. The library submitted documents to show how it spends its annual budget, filings with the Internal Revenue Service as a nonprofit organization and other information the county requires as part of any agency’s funding request.
The library has requested more local money to increase salaries for staff members.
“We would really love to see our staff get in line with what the county’s salary scale is,” Ross told the supervisors.
The library and the county had operated under a memorandum of agreement that allowed for smaller salary increases each year, Ross said. That agreement expires for the fiscal 2022 budget period.
“We’re having a hard time attracting people to open positions when they come open because our salaries aren’t competitive with Walmart or Target for our library assistant positions,” Ross said.
The library added new databases and materials to address patrons’ needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Spending has decreased for building maintenance, automation systems and office expenses. However, the library can expect to spend more on technology.
While the library remained closed during part of the pandemic, its leadership board went ahead and had some of the maintenance work done. The library spent money on COVID-19-related safety initiatives such as installing shields and buying extra hand sanitizers as well as personal protective equipment.
The Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Cheryl L. Cullers and members Tony F. Carter, Archie A. Fox, Walter J. Mabe and Delores R. Oates attended the work session.