Henry County commissioners restore library funding

Henry County’s libraries could have lost state and federal funds had the county funding not been restored.

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Henry County’s libraries could have lost state and federal funds had the county funding not been restored.

The Henry County Board of Commissioners voted at its April 2 regular meeting to increase this year’s library funding by $115,000 and erase a 5-percent cut approved last summer in the FY2019 budget.

Officials warned that by reducing library funding, the county was non-compliant according to state regulations and at risk of losing state and federal grants, support services and in-kind services. In addition to the $2.3 million from the county for the current fiscal year, the library system is receiving approximately $3 million in state and federal funds. The library system, which has five branches, is totally tax-funded and has no other sources of revenue, its director told commissioners.

The county is required by law to maintain funding at or above previous levels, with the only exception being if cuts are consistent with reductions in other county departments, which was not the case in the current fiscal year.