The Creston Valley Services Committee voted in favour of modest increase to the Creston Museum and Creston Valley Public Library’s budgets at its Feb. 11 regular meeting.
The library will see an increase of 1.5 per cent in 2016, bringing the total public library budget for Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) areas A, B and C and Creston to $472,730 from $470,000.
“We feel with this increase, we’ll be able to maintain our current operations,” chief librarian Aaron Francis told the committee of RDCK directors Garry Jackman (Area A), Tanya Wall (Area B), Larry Binks (Area C) and Coun. Jen Comer (Town of Creston, filling in for a vacationing Mayor Ron Toyota).
While the funding for the library will increase, the amounts for the Crawford Bay and Riondel reading centres will hold steady at $20,000, as will the Yahk reading centre’s budget of $15,000.
But the fact that Francis had to speak to the request prompted Wall, during the meeting, to send an email to the Yahk centre’s organizer, asking for a report on its financial situation.
“If we’re holding the Creston library to this task, we need to be holding the reading centres to this task,” she said, and admitted she didn’t really know how the Yahk centre was using its funding.
“It seems to be we need to look at starting a regional library system,” said community services general manager Joe Chirico.
The Creston Museum will see an increase of 2.5 per cent in 2017, from $91,747 to $93,582, which represents about 53 per cent of the facility’s operating budget. Manager Tammy Hardwick said she spends about a third of her working hours writing grant proposals, earning funds from about 15-18 each year to cover summer students and project costs.
“It gets challenging at times, but we manage,” she said.