Board Sets GRRL Budget for 2011

    “I’m very pleased with the support shown by the library’s board of trustees” said Director Kirsty Smith, after the Great River Regional Library (GRRL) board of trustees met on Tuesday, July 13 and set a budget for 2011.

    Overall, there was a sigh of relief as the potentially crippling cut that had been feared as a result of a poor economy was replaced by a decrease of 3.2%, or $95,000. The library’s operating budget will decrease $56,100, or 0.668%, and the capital budget will decrease $38,900. The specific details for how the operating reduction will be achieved, including personnel/staffing decisions, will be determined at meetings later in the summer and fall, but Smith felt that the decreases were manageable. The library's operating budget to provide services at all 32 locations is $8,339,000.

    Groundwork for this agreement was laid at a budget meeting on June 23 with county commissioners, administrators and some board members. Smith expressed her appreciation for the support GRRL received at that meeting. In particular, Stearns County administrator George Rindelaub lobbied for continued financial support for library services. This followed on from the June 15 GRRL board meeting at which board members including Wright County Commissioner Pat Sawatzke had spoken for maintaining the library budget so as not to negatively impact services.

    “I’m confident that we can work with this budget and continue to provide the high quality services our patrons have come to expect,” Smith said.