Supervisors will not supplement cities on library operating funds
By By Dwayne Bremer Staff Writer
Aug 5, 2014, 18:22
The Hancock County Board of Supervisors will apparently not supplement the cities of Bay St. Louis and Waveland for costs associated with the Hancock County Library System this upcoming budget year, officials said Monday.
Each city currently pays three mils of its own revenue to support the libraries in each respective city.
A few months ago, Bay and Wavleland both sent resolutions to supervisors, asking them to pay the city's share of contributions to the library.
A mil in Bay St. Louis is worth about $115,000 this year and a mil in Waveland is worth about $63,000, meaning the total contribution from the cities will be slightly more than $500,000 combined.
Bay St. Louis Ward Five Councilman Joey Boudin said recently that he feels the county should "fully fund" the library since city residents pay county taxes too.
At a meeting last month, a library representative said that Bay St. Louis began paying three mils decades ago as part of an agreement to have a better library in the city limits.
Boudin said Tuesday that he does not feel the current city council should be bound by agreements made by councils decades ago.
Supervisors poured over their upcoming budget on Monday and concluded that paying the city's portion of the library costs may not be feasible, Board Vice President Steve Seymour said.
The county currently allocates about $1.3 million to the library system.
"We want to help the cities, but we just don't have that kind of money," Seymour said. "Our budget is tight enough as it is."
Waveland Mayor David Garcia said Tuesday that his city asked the county to fund the library only after Bay St. Louis did.
He said he believes his board will still apply three mils this year for the library if the county does not fund it.
Budgets for the county and the two cities must be finalized by Sept. 15.