Below you’ll find frequently asked questions about our Vote YES for the Pine River Library campaign. If you don’t see the answer to your question, please contact us.
The economy seems pretty good right now. So why is library revenue falling?
The predominant reason why library revenues have fallen in our district is because revenues from the oil and gas industry have fallen nearly 50%. This has caused an income decline for the library of over $165,000 at the same time that costs have risen. The other reason that revenues have fallen is due to the ramifications of the Gallagher Constitutional Amendment.
What is the Gallagher Constitutional Amendment?
Passed in 1982 in Colorado, the Gallagher Amendment reduces the assessment rate (the percent of property value that is subject to taxation) whenever statewide total residential property values increase faster than business property values. As a result of the Gallagher Amendment, the assessment rate for residential property has declined by more than two-thirds over the years because of Colorado’s population growth and because of increases in residential real estate values. The net effect has been a marked decline in revenues collected from property tax. Please send us an email if you want to know more: email@example.com.
We just had a tax increase for the schools. Why should we vote for more for the library?
Although the schools and the library work together to ensure that our children are getting the best education that can be provided, the financing of each of these institutions is separate.
Our youth are just one part of the library’s responsibility to our community. We service those from cradle to grave ensuring Kindergarten readiness and life-long learning. A vote for the library is a vote for a strong community.
Can’t the library just cut expenses?
The library has made cuts wherever it can over the last three years. For instance, program costs for children, teens and adults went from $22,839 in 2015 to $17,600 in 2018. The library makes use of volunteers to free up staff time, and staff time is used more and more in place of outside contractors. We have even changed the landscaping to save watering expenses.
Other expenses like building maintenance, utilities, staff costs and facility fees have gone up. Growing health insurance costs for employees have been a challenge as well.
What about a fundraiser rather than a levy?
A fundraiser, like receiving grants, is a temporary solution to a long term problem. It may help with a deficit for a year, but will not solve the ongoing budget shortfalls. We would like to keep up with the services, resources and open library hours that the community has come to expect from their community library.
What about all the building projects going on? Where is that money coming from?
The library received two grants last year from Colorado Health Foundation and GOCO (Go Outdoors Colorado) to cover 85% of the cost of the park next to the library. That land was already owned by the library and the Town of Bayfield partnered with us on this project to cover the remaining costs–the library contributed just $60,000 from its reserve fund. The Town of Bayfield is responsible for the park maintenance.
The project to the west of the park is not the library’s. It is going to be the new Momentum Fitness Center. The shed to the east of the library is property of the Friends of the Pine River Library and was financed by that group.
How do I know the library is well managed?
The Library is governed by a seven member Board of Trustees whose job it is to make policy, take on fiduciary responsibilities and oversee the Library Director. Board members are recommended to the Board of County Commissioners and appointed by them. The Board meets the 3rd Wednesday of every month and the meeting is open to the public.
The library’s finances are audited every year by an independent auditing firm. The results–all positive–have been reported to the Department of Local Affairs and posted on the library’s website.The management of the library is transparent in these ways and the Library Director’s door is always open. You can also review the library’s budget from its website–look under “Ballot Info.”
Why don’t parents pay for teen programs? Why should I pay?
The library, the community and school leaders improve student learning by working together throughout the day to provide a safe environment for our youth to learn and understand how to be a responsible member of our community. Taking care of our youth is crucial to our community’s health, safety and peace. The library welcomes students to extend their learning after school. The mission of the Pine River Library, as well as all public libraries, is to provide free information to all who want to learn. We believe our whole community benefits from keeping our youth occupied and safe.
The library really seems to favor programs for children and young people. Is it really well balanced?
The library offers programs throughout the day to all ages. Very young children’s programs tend to be offered in the morning; youth programs in the afternoon after school; adult programs in the evenings. Based on program attendance this best serves the needs of our patrons. Statistics for 2016 programming show that total program attendance for small children was 4603, teens 3283 and adults 3706, so there’s a good balance.
We are particularly proud of our outreach programs for seniors. They include book delivery for the homebound, activities at the Senior Center and in-person visits to Evenings Porch Assisted Living Facility.
If I vote YES on measure 6A for the library, what will the increase cost me?
If you own a residential property worth $300,000, you will pay an additional $3.60 per month. If you’d like to know the cost based on a different property value, use our calculator.