Library may get additional money from city

Keldy  Ortiz

Oct. 17, 2012 at 5:17 a.m.

Bay City Council members next week will consider giving the region's financially struggling public library a two-year funding commitment.

At a work session Tuesday night, councilmembers agreed to discuss possibly extending support to the library at 1100 Seventh St. with a two-year extension during the council's regular session next week.

The Bay City Library is a private entity that receives money through donations as well as from the city and the county, and it serves residents throughout Matagorda County.

The City Council's decision comes after the nonprofit library has struggled during the past few months with its fundraising efforts. And for several years, there have been rumors that the city would end its support.

Councilwoman Julie Estlinbaum, who recommended the commitment, said she thought two years would be substantial for the city.

"This is something new for the county, the library board and the city," said Estlinbaum. "We will be looking to see if this is the best solution or if there are other solutions."

Bay City Mayor Mark Bricker said the commitment is a "good short-term fix right now."

"I don't think the library will ever close as long as I am mayor," Bricker said.

While Estlinbaum did not discuss what will happen after the two years, she wanted to focus on the present. Estlinbaum will inquire every three months during the two-year commitment to discuss the progress of the library.

According to a budget breakdown provided by Bay City, $131,000 will be committed by the city along with $200,000 from Matagorda County for the 2013 fiscal year.

Ann Moore, director of the library, said the library is the "heart of the community. People love the library."

For Moore and Bay City officials, the library's future is still uncertain. "In the meantime we will continue to research our options," Estlinbaum said.



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