Chairman Boyce voted in favor of the temporary library funding, but sought to cast blame on commissioners who voted against his proposed tax hike in July.
“The reality is that we have a $10 million investment that this board has known about for years and it’s dropped in my lap to fix,” Boyce said.
Commissioners JoAnn Birrell and Lisa Cupid voted against the funding on grounds that the county should not spend any more one-time monies on recurring costs. Commissioners Bob Weatherford and Bob Ott voted in favor of the expenditure.
Speaking after the meeting, Ott said he had originally offered to close the Lewis A. Ray Library in his district to balance the cost of Sewell Mill, but was rebuffed by Chairman Boyce, who wants to discuss the consolidation of library services within a county-wide plan.
Ott said it was true that the board knew it would have to fund the library once it was constructed, but staffing needs changed as new amenities were introduced.
“Yes, it’s been in the pipeline — it’s replacing a library,” Ott said, referring to the East Marietta Library, which will close. “There are some technological features that were not in the old library because it was built in the sixties.”