The Canton City Council could vote to restore financial support for the Sequoyah Regional Library system at its next meeting.
Weekend hours at library branches in Canton and Woodstock were cut back Oct. 1 by vote of the library system’s board of trustees after Canton and Woodstock city governments did not budget $55,000 in expected financial support.
The issue of restoring Canton’s $20,000 in support was raised at the city council’s meeting last week.
“Based on the feedback I believe most of us are hearing in the community, I would like to propose that council approve issuing a check for $20,000 to the Sequoyah Regional Library from rental car fees, with the condition that the city is made aware of how these funds benefit the citizens of Canton,” Ward 1 Councilwoman JoEllen Wilson said.
City Manager Billy Peppers said staff would prepare a budget amendment for the council to vote on at its next meeting, which is 6 p.m. Oct. 17.
Wilson said she would like to see the payment made as soon as possible after the meeting, if council approves it.
In a specially called meeting last month the Cherokee County Library Board of Trustees unanimously approved a plan to close the Woodstock Public Library on Saturdays and the R.T. Jones Memorial Library in Canton on Sundays.
“As you all know, the city of Woodstock reduced library funding and the city of Canton eliminated library funding in their new budgets. This has resulted in a $55,000 revenue shortfall for our libraries this year,” Anita Summers, director of Sequoyah Regional Library wrote to board members.
“The reason both cities have given for these cuts is the renegotiation of the Service Delivery Strategy (SDS) with Cherokee County.”
SDS is a set of agreements designed to make sure residents aren’t overtaxed for a duplication of county and city services. Georgia requires counties and cities to form these agreements once every 10 years.
The county and some local city governments are participating in mediation to try to work out their differences.