Menominee County library supporters protest proposed budget cut

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MENOMINEE, Mich. (WLUC) - A group of Menominee County Library supporters held signs near the courthouse Monday to show their support from the library against a proposed budget cut.

Menominee County Library Supporters gather to bring awareness to a proposed budget cut. (WLUC Photo)

Many supporters drove by 10th Avenue and 10th Street in Menominee on Monday. They reinforced their love of the Menominee County Library, with a honk and a wave. Others were outside, drawing awareness to a proposed budget cut that would affect the library.

Just two weeks ago, the Menominee County Finance Committee voted to recommend the library's budget be cut by $25,000.

"We are currently running a $140,000 structural deficit in the county and the library is one that is funded from the general fund. This is one way they're trying to make a part of that structural deficit,” said Menominee County Administrator Jason Carviou.

Menominee County resident Karen Kovach said this proposed decision was made too quickly.

"Our problem was that is so huge and so sudden, that the library supporters haven't had time to say stop, wait, and let’s figure out another solution," said Kovach.

The $25,000 would represent 7 percent of Menominee County’s total budget.

With this significant budget cut, many library services could be affected, including staffing hours, the book mobile and book purchases.

Kovach said there are many people who rely on the library.

"There are citizens throughout the county that depend on that library, depend on it being open, and depend on all of its services," she said.

Carviou said this is not an easy decision.

"The county board is put in a difficult spot here, obviously they have to balance the budget county wide, I know people focus on individual parts of the budget that they're concerned with," he said.

Kovach said if the budget cut is passed, it will be detrimental to residents.

"People will suffer, people you know will suffer, and the place you call home will be diminished, and that says it all," she said.

There will be a public forum Tuesday at the Menominee County Courthouse at 5:30 p.m. (CDT) to express thoughts and opinions.

The Menominee County Library is located in Stephenson and also has a branch library in Hermansville and a bookmobile that
serves the entire county, including schools and community stops.

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