In May 2018, Wallowa County residents will have the opportunity to choose - either create a library district with a .65/$1,000 assessed value property tax per household and retain the services provided by the Wallowa County Library, or close the County Library due to budget cuts.
In addition to the closure of the Wallowa County Library location, additional county-wide services that are scheduled to cease June 1st include Early Literacy Programs, Deliver-me-a-Book, Branch Libraries in Troy and Imnaha, and programming/administrative support to City Libraries.
After county government announced it’s decision to defund the library last fall, a grant was secured by the Wallowa County Library Foundation to hire a consultant and identify the best way forward - keeping both quality and cost as priorities. Several possible solutions were researched and analyzed. The resulting Feasibility Study (download here) outlines the recommended Library District as the lowest cost option for retaining quality library services in Wallowa County, and establishes a .65/$1000 tax rate per household.
Leadership within each municipality was given the option to opt in to inclusion in the district, or opt out. Only Lostine opted out - therefore the proposed District to be voted on this May will not include Lostine city residents. Lostine residents will still have an option to purchase individual Library Cards regardless of whether the district passes or fails.
Please vote "YES" for Wallowa County Libraries!
a YES vote
NO LIBRARY CLOSURES
Continuation of current programs plus expanded programs to reach new users
Libraries consolidated and operate as one system
MORE LIBRARY HOURS
40% increase county-wide from 118 hours per week to 164
NEW LIBRARY DISTRICT
Tax rate is 65 cents per $1,000/assessed value for each household ($48.75/year for average residential property)
Per capita spending increases to 94% of state norm
ACCESS FOR ALL
No additional library fees for any county residents (Does not include Lostine city residents)
a NO vote
LIBRARIES WILL CLOSE
Permanent closure of County, Troy, and Imnaha Libraries
72% cut in programs serving children, families, job-seekers, seniors, and homebound
LOST GRANT FUNDING
$54,000 annually (approx. $1M since 2000)
REDUCED LIBRARY HOURS
39% cut county-wide from 118 hours per week to 72
LOSE COUNTY SUPPORT FOR CITY LIBRARIES
Early literacy and school age programs eliminated
Per capita spending drops from 61% to 38% of statewide norms
NEW LIBRARY FEES
46% of residents will need to purchase a Library Card (approx. $70/year)