Monday, June 07, 2010

What the Town Could Lose

The amount on the override question is the minimum amount required to meet state standards. If Orange does not meet those standards we would be de-certified. The consequences of de-certification are severe. We would have to return about $35,000 in planning and design grant funds that we currently have. We would be ineligible to receive a $7,500 grant for children's programming that we are on track to receive. We would be ineligible for state construction money that could pay 50% or more (potentially several million dollars) of the cost of a library expansion or new building. Making the Wheeler Library handicapped accessible would be dealt a potentially fatal blow.

And, most visibly, our patrons would lose their ability to request books from other libraries, as well as their right to use other area libraries. A library, once de-certified, must meet state standards for one complete fiscal year before it can apply to be re-certified. Therefore, if we lose certification, it could be almost 2 years before we could get it back. There is a waiver process that might allow a lower level of funding on a temporary basis, but one of the requirements for a waiver is that the library's budget must not have been cut disproportionately to other town departments. So, if the library's budget was cut more than the other town departments, we could not qualify for a waiver. Please share this information so that voters are more fully informed of the consequences facing the library and the town.

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