Library discussion topic at York public hearing on $133.4 million budget

Contact ReporterThe Virginia Gazette

YORK — One local man spoke against funding the Williamsburg Library to the extent that the county does and the president and CEO of the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance spoke in favor of funding her agency. No one else spoke at Thursday evening's one and only scheduled public hearing on next year's $133.4 million budget.

Joseph Taylor of York County said there weren't enough York County residents using the Williamsburg library so the county should spend less money on it and more on its Yorktown and Tabb libraries.

"The magazine racks in the library here on Route 17 are as bare as grandma's cupboard," Taylor said. "We are not fulfilling the obligation of a library when we have such marginal service."

The interim county administrator proposed budgeting $2.7 million for library services next year, which includes roughly $508,000 for the Williamsburg library, according to budget documents.

Taylor also said he wanted the county to fund the school board's budget request, which was for $51.9 million, so that teachers could get raises. The interim county administrator has proposed providing the school board with $51.3 million and keeping the real estate tax rate flat at 75.15 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Karen Riordan, president and CEO of the alliance, thanked the county for the $342,447 it contributed this year and said future money would be used to market sporting, food and beverage, art and holiday events. The proposed budget for next year includes an additional $50,000 for the alliance. Supervisor Vice Chairman George Hrichak recently proposed giving them an additional $25,000 only and putting the remaining $25,000 toward future Capital Improvements Programs, which could cost up to $260 million during the next 10 years.

Somers can be reached by phone at 757-298-5176.

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