Letter: Basalt Library can’t take a gamble | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Basalt Library can’t take a gamble

A recent letter to the editor suggests that the Basalt Regional Library District (4A) is asking for more funding than is needed. What the writer doesn’t say is that the library has had to draw $250,000 to $300,000 from pre-recession reserves for each of the past four years in order to provide current levels of service. The reserves are now critically low. It would be irresponsible to spend another $250,000 of reserves in 2017. The library’s stewards would operate knowing that at the end of 2017 less than a six-month reserve would remain, and this reserve would drop to $300,000 (less than three-month balance) in 2018. The library doesn’t have the liberty to gamble that the economy will recover sufficiently before its reserves run out. If 4A does not pass, $250,000 will have to be cut from the 2017 budget in order to keep the library open in a limited way and preserve the library’s remaining balance. But make no mistake, much of the library’s current vitality will be lost.

By asking for public support now, the library director and board are taking the most prudent course available — we are counting on the community to choose to support current operations and maintain a vital resource that benefits us all. This is why we urge a “yes “vote on 4A.

Carolyn Kane

President, Basalt Regional Library District

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