The Washington Times-Herald

Local News

February 3, 2009

Economy forces library to cut budget

It’s one of the problems of an economic downturn: demand for a government service increases while tax dollars collected decrease.

The Washington Carnegie Public Library is no exception. Its budget this year has decreased 5 percent while the number of borrowers has increased almost 10 percent.

The library is mostly funded through property taxes. Starting in 2010, property taxes will be capped at 1 percent for homeowners, 2 percent for rental units and 3 percent for businesses. With less money coming in through property taxes, the library’s budget is facing projected cuts of more than $50,000 and more than $100,000 over the next two years, respectively. The library’s budget for this year is $426,475, the lowest it has been for the last five years.

“We’ve taken a pretty big crunch on our budget,” said Teresa Heidenreich, the library director.

Heidenreich said the library has cut six service hours to save money. Since last August, the library has closed two hours early each Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. In addition, library employees will not receive any raises this year.

“It was a positive move to show the community we’re serious about the budget crunch,” Heidenreich said.

With some people facing layoffs and spending less, they’ve turned to the library for free internet access and entertainment.

“People are looking for ways to save money,” Heidenreich said, “and they’re starting to utilize the library for that.”

The library’s program attendance has increased 15 percent and the usage of its two meeting rooms has increased as well.

“Businesses can no longer afford to rent out a room somewhere,” Heidenreich said, so they use the library’s meeting rooms free of charge.

The youth department has seen a 20 percent increase in checkouts.

Lori Osmon, the youth librarian, said she believes parents are trying to save money.

“I think parents can’t afford to buy their kids books and it’s important to them to expose their kids to books,” Osmon said.

Text Only
Local News
  • Man killed in motorcycle crash south of Monroe City

    A  Vincennes man died in a motorcycle accident on Friday afternoon south of Monroe City.

    April 19, 2014

  • Property taxes, short term loan discussed at B-R school meeting

    MONTGOMERY -- The Barr-Reeve School Board meeting was opened for comments Thursday from school patrons and Lana Helms asked about the increase in the property tax statement that she recently received. Helms said it was about a considerable increase.

    April 19, 2014

  • Saturday's police report CITY REPORT Friday 12:57 p.m. - A male caller said he witnessed, while playing golf, a red Jeep strike a sign and a telephone pole at the intersection of Northeast 12th Street and Brett Cabel Road. A stop sign was damaged, but the Jeep was not found.

    April 19, 2014

  • Griffith50 Griffith Elementary turns 50 Helen Griffith Elementary is celebrating a milestone as the school turns 50-years old. Earlier this week, current students and staff at the school met on the playground for a photo to commemorate the anniversary. Students sat in the formation of th

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • TaylirAnn.jpg No Headline Provided Taylor Mr. and Mrs. Kenny Taylor will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary today. Kenny Taylor and Ruth Lengacher were married April 19, 1969. The couple has one daughter, Sheila and Spencer Gingerich of Montgomery, and one son, Mark Taylor of L

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • frocks 'Forget the Frock' is a T-shirt with a real message New frilly dresses and tailored suits for Easter have been a tradition for many years, but a relatively new movement across the United States is changing that tradition for some local community members, as well as others across the country. "Forget

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Washington school transportation funding takes another hit The wheels on the buses are still going round and round for the Washington Community Schools, but the funding to keep them rolling all through the town is dwindling. The loss of tax revenue has caused the school board to look into funds other than th

    April 18, 2014

  • citytowergraphic.jpg High but not dry

    The city of Washington is constructing a 600,000-gallon water tower east of the city. Here's some information supplied by the city on the new tower.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - WT041814 - CoatsMug - NBS GOP set for Lincoln-Reagan Day celebration U.S. Sen. Dan Coats will be the featured speaker at the annual Daviess County Republican Lincoln-Reagan dinner. The dinner is set for April 22 at the Padaco event center. "Senator Coats is always a big draw at Lincoln Day dinners across the state and

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Highway of dreams approaching final phase For decades community leaders in southwestern Indiana dreamed of an interstate highway that would connect Indianapolis and Evansville. Now, that project is one contract from becoming a reality. The Indiana Department of Transportation and the Indian

    April 18, 2014