County commissioners vote to cut $25,000 from Menominee County Library

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MENOMINEE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Menominee County Commissioners passed an amended version of the 2019-2020 budget plan that still cut $25,000 from the Menominee County Library.

Menominee County Board of Commissioners vote to pass amended budget. (WLUC Photo)

The court room was packed with county commissioners and library supporters waiting to hear the fate for Menominee County's budget plan.

"The board passed an amended budget for the 2019- 2020 fiscal year and in that budget they decided to cut $25,000 from the Menominee County Library,” said The Menominee County Administrator, Justin Carivou.

But not before attendees raised their concerns. Library supporters had their chance to voice their opinions about the proposed budget cuts before the final decision was made.

Some said the decision was too quick and others said cutting the library would be hurting future generations.

After the public forum, the commissioners voted 7 to 2 to support the budget, which included that library cut.

"It’s extremely difficult for administration and county commissioners, obviously you never want to make cuts to services in the county,” said Carivou.

The Menominee County Library Outreach Coordinator, Ann Best is sadden with the final outcome.

"We had hoped that we might be given some time or some resources to figure something out so that we could continue to serve our patrons at the level that we currently are,” she said.

The library is located in Stevenson and offers computer usage, free books and a book mobile to children and members of the community, all of which could suffer due to the cut.

The library had a proposed budget of about $250,000 as a direct county general fund appropriation so this cut is a 10% reduction of county funding.

Best said the library will strive to stay afloat despite the circumstances.

"We will have to decide what the most important priorities are and we will try to do everything in our power to take care of people and we will just have to prioritize and do what we can,” she said.

Currently Menominee County is in a structural deficit of $140,000 even with the cuts in place.

But the county administrator says this budget allows the county to move forward for the future and that is what matters.

"We have a strong community and strong community ties. This is one cut, we're going to come together and try to figure out how we're going to go from here and we'll just be better from it,” said Carivou.

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