The Newton County library, in recent years, has had to cut $500,000 out of its budget, and last year completed a $350,000 renovation of the roof on its Covington location.
The financial issues persist for the library, as the Covington branch now needs a complete redesign of its HVAC system, according to Dr. Steve Whatley.
Whatley went in front of the Covington City Council at its meeting Monday to ask for financial help in putting the new system, which was estimated to cost $725,000 when a survey was done on May 30, 2014.
The library board of trustees has applied and received a designation of $200,000 in a state grant, and will contribute $100,000 of its own money. The board is now asking the city of Covington, and is scheduled to ask the Newton County Board of Commissioners for help with the rest of the funds.
Whatley did tell the council Monday that the $200,000 in grant funds will expire June 30, 2015.
“We are not a taxing entity,” Whatley said. We get our funds for operation and capital from our local agencies. Whatever we pay out to our employees, books we buy, computer services that are rendered or improvement of roofs, it comes out of that money.”
Whatley asked the council for funds be scheduled in next year’s city budget to help with the library’s HVAC project.
“I request for your consideration our need, and we will include a projected request in our letter for revenue for next year,” Whatley said. “We need your assistance and the question is will the library board be able to use $100,000 of state money and pool it with our money and city money and county money and get this done or are we going to have to wait for the air conditioner and heating to go down and probably cost us more and have no state funding. That is the predicament we are in.”