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Library Funding Gets Appropriated

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May 26, 2011 by wcobserver

By Jamie Smith

A funding appropriation approved during the May 12 Washington County Quorum Court meeting will mean new supplies and equipment for the West Fork, Greenland and Winslow libraries.

The Quorum Court approved two appropriations for the Washington County Library System. The first was a total of $8,828 that comes from the Arkansas State Library and will be distributed on a per-capita basis to the Washington County Library System’s municipal and branch libraries.​

​The second appropriation was moving $21,000 of non-budgeted reserves and distributing them to the various libraries. West Fork, Springdale, Farmington, Prairie Grove, Lincoln, and Elkins will receive $3,000 and branch libraries Greenland and Winslow will receive $1,500. The latter appropriation was made possible by reductions in central-site operating costs, which save an estimated $70,000 each year.

​“This has been achieved by renegotiating contracts with vendors, automating work processes, finding free information on the Internet and reducing our various utility and communications costs,” said Carl Koffler, chairman of the County’s library board. “By instituting an aggressive recycling program with the help of the county’s recycling department, we’ve been able to save a few dollars each month by downgrading from a Dumpster to a trash can.”

​Glenda Audrain, director of the library system, said Friday that the libraries are being encouraged to use the money to purchase print and AV materials.

​In other county-related news, six new positions were added to the IT department: two systems programmers; three computer software design specialist/computer technicians; and one computer programmer and system analyst. These positions are designed to help productivity in the department, which will in turn help productivity throughout all of the county’s operations.

​The court members also heard an update from Shawn Shrum, assistant county road superintendent.

“The damage from recent floods was widespread throughout the county with the worse damage being in the west and southwest parts of the county,” he said.

​All county roads have been made at least passable. Many will have to be repaired to be fully restored, however. Some of those related costs will be reimbursed from various funds, Shrum said.

​The Quorum Court also voted to give bonuses to all employees – $500 for full-time and $250 for part-time. This excludes elected officials because a clause in the law would mean that these one-time bonuses would be rolled up into elected officials’ salaries. The court members asked that research be done to find a way to reward the elected positions (such as county clerk, etc.) for their work.

 

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