WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr


Kanawha Co. Library Board Says Serious Cuts Ahead After Failed Levy

Reported by: Send eMail Kera Mashek
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Nov. 12, 2013 5:25 PM EST
Updated: Nov. 12, 2013 10:35 PM EST

EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

Library Levy Update
Eyewitness News Photo

Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia

The Kanawha County Library system would've gotten $3 million if the excess levy had passed during last weekend's special election. Now, it's trying to figure out how to find funding elsewhere to keep the doors open.

The school district can only legally continue funding the library through the end of June. So the library was hoping the levy would fill in the 40 percent of its budget that it will lose when the school's support goes away. Tuesday night, the library board met to begin talking about how it will now carve that $3 million out of its already tight budget.

"I don't know what they think we're going to do without a library or without a library to the extent that we have one now," said Michael Layne of Charleston.

Layne comes to the library almost every day, and he's worried about what the future holds now that the library's set to lose almost half of its budget. Tuesday night, library board members made it clear: people have every right to be worried. Serious cuts are coming.

"We will now begin the painful process of reorganizing and retooling a library --a system that was built over a hundred years. Re-organizing and retooling will require us to consider how and when we spend every dollar. It will require us to modify, eliminate, change and reduce the operation so that we live within a seriously reduced budget," said Mike Albert, Kanawha County Library Board President.

The board will organize a committee, assigned to study every possible option for new funding---from asking for more money from local cities where library branches are located to lobbying for state dollars. That committee will also dissect every way to cut costs, trying to do as little damage to services as possible. But the reality is that some branches will likely close altogether, hours could be cut back at other locations, and some library staff may be let go.

"The cost per patron is going to be the driver. If you have a branch that's not cost productive, we'll be looking hard at it," Albert said.

Life-long Charleston resident Marshall Spradling says it's sad to see such a valuable community resource suffer. After all, it's a resource that 800,000 people used last year to learn, study, and search for jobs.

"Lots of people rely on the library as the place to go in and browse, see the new releases. Younger people come in and do their school work. People are able to use the computers, and that's very valuable for folks that don't otherwise have access to a computer, so I can certainly understand that great need. I do love the library," said Spradling.

So it will be a rough road ahead as the axe begins to fall and cuts are made to the services at the library that so many people depend on.

Some people have also been asking about why the library can't tap into the estimated $18 million the library has set aside for building a new facility. Well, a lot of that money isn't actually in the bank. It's just been pledged for the project, and is designated to the library foundation, a separate entity.

The library director told says he's not sure if there would be legal restrictions on using that money to help with the current budget crisis, but insists it would be unethical since that money was donated specifically for the building project.

Meanwhile, another levy vote is not out of the question. The library cannot legally run a levy on its own. It would have to partner with the school district again, or the county. But even if that happens, the library will still have to make cuts now, because even if a levy were passed, money wouldn't start coming in before the next fiscal year, when its money from the school district will disappear.



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
WV Inmate Who Escaped In May Captured In VA
News
Jul. 22, 2014 9:16 AM EDT
A West Virginia inmate who escaped in May is back in ...
Full News Story

Former Mercer County Teacher Pleads Guilty To Sex Charges
News
Jul. 22, 2014 9:22 AM EDT
A former Mercer County teacher has pleaded guilty to ...
Full News Story

Dirty Girl Mud Run Meeting Set For Tuesday Morning Postponed
News
Jul. 22, 2014 9:06 AM EDT
The Dirty Girl Mud Run controversy has again taken ...
Full News Story


News Troopers Say Man Arrested In Child Neglect Case
Jul. 22, 2014 9:05 AM EDT
News Freedom Industries In Bankruptcy Court Tuesday
Jul. 22, 2014 7:54 AM EDT
News Baby Dies From Malnutrition After Police Say Parents Used WIC Money To Buy Drugs
Jul. 21, 2014 11:53 PM EDT
News Women Express Outrage Over Dirty Girl Mud Run Flap
Jul. 22, 2014 7:44 AM EDT
News Shoppers Travel Across Counties To Shop At Newly-Expanded Kroger
Jul. 21, 2014 9:49 PM EDT
News Livestock Competition Big Part Of Cabell County Fair
Jul. 21, 2014 8:58 PM EDT
News W.Va. Family Fights For 13-Month-Old Daughter To Be An Organ Donor After Tragic Death
Jul. 21, 2014 6:33 PM EDT
News Uncertainty Swirls Around Saturday's Scheduled Event
Jul. 22, 2014 7:46 AM EDT
News High-Profile Murder Case May Have Federal Implications
Jul. 21, 2014 5:21 PM EDT
News Two Boone County Volunteer Firefighters Face Charges
Jul. 21, 2014 5:02 PM EDT
News Lincoln Man Accused Of Leaving Children Home Unattended
Jul. 21, 2014 4:24 PM EDT
News A.D. Lewis Center Offers Free Swimming, Basketball Camps
Jul. 21, 2014 3:50 PM EDT
News WV Democrats Want Two GOP Candidates Off Ballot
Jul. 21, 2014 3:23 PM EDT
News Three Still Being Treated For Injuries In Nicholas County Crash
Jul. 21, 2014 1:55 PM EDT
News Woman Accused Of Stealing During Open Houses Pleads Guilty In Case
Jul. 21, 2014 1:07 PM EDT
News Woman Chains Herself To Doghouse At State Capitol
Jul. 21, 2014 12:43 PM EDT
News Obama Calls For Immediate Access To Crash Site
Jul. 21, 2014 11:59 AM EDT
News Man Accused Of Threatening, Physically Abusing Girlfriend
Jul. 21, 2014 11:32 AM EDT
News "Ya Gotta Regatta" In Huntington This Weekend
Jul. 21, 2014 12:31 PM EDT
News Man Pleads Guilty In Charleston Murder Case
Jul. 21, 2014 12:27 PM EDT
News The Greenbrier Unveiling Training Facilities As Saints Arrive This Week
Jul. 21, 2014 12:29 PM EDT
News Public Input Sought In WV Preservation Plan
Jul. 21, 2014 9:14 AM EDT
News One Killed In Tyler County Wreck
Jul. 21, 2014 8:58 AM EDT
News Fun At Junior Fair Rolls On
Jul. 21, 2014 8:49 AM EDT
News Driver Escapes Injury After Crashing Into Guardrail
Jul. 21, 2014 8:42 AM EDT
News Man Injured In Early Morning House Fire
Jul. 21, 2014 8:39 AM EDT
News Kenova Man Faces Multiple Charges After Police Say He Led Them On Chase
Jul. 20, 2014 10:57 PM EDT
News Businesses Say Ballpark Has Boosted Local Economy
Jul. 20, 2014 10:41 PM EDT
News Fishing Closed This Week At Winfield Locks
Jul. 20, 2014 9:34 PM EDT
News 8 Years Later, Missing Woman's Family Isn't Giving Up
Jul. 20, 2014 7:04 PM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
W.Va. inmate who escaped in May captured in Va.

A West Virginia inmate who escaped in May is back in custody following his capture in Virginia.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Police: Mom left child at pool, smoked crack

A Kentucky sheriff says a woman left her 9-year-old daughter alone at a hotel pool while she smoked crack cocaine in a hotel room.
Full Story

Ohio News
Ohio man sentenced to life in marijuana slaying

A 19-year-old central Ohio man has been sentenced to life in prison after admitting that he fired a shotgun into a man's face during a robbery at a marijuana-growing operation last fall.
Full Story







Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site







Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.