Lower Salford supervisors committed last Wednesday night to financially support the Indian Valley Public Library in the wake of a proposed cut in school district funding. Whether the remaining five municipalities served by the library follow suit remains to be seen.
Chairman Douglas Gifford explained that, for the past ten years, the municipal funding obligation was split between Souderton Area School District and a total of six covered municipalities. Each of the parties involved established a 0.165 mill tax rate, reserved for library funding. The school districts contribution was a matching contribution, essentially accounting for half of the total funding.
“This plan has been very peaceful and quiet for the past ten years,” Gifford explained.
That changed, however, when the Souderton Area School Board gave notice that, beginning next year, the district’s collected taxes, totaling approximately $439,000, will not be given to the library.
“The school district has their own problems and their own worries,” Gifford explained. “But I’m trying to look at this from the library’s point of view.”
Gifford went on to explain that the best solution would be for each municipality to merely double the current millage devoted to library funding. Gifford noted, however, that the school district will not be subsequently lowering their rate. In addition, all six municipalities served by the library would have to agree to the change for the library to be able to continue current operations.
“Every dollar we send them is squeezed and used for the library to operate,” Gifford said.
Council formalized their commitment to the library by voting to send a letter, going on record in support of doubling the township’s designated tax collection.
“People should be aware of what a real treasure the library is,” Gifford said. “It is the second largest library in Montgomery County. That place is packed all the time.”
In other business, Gifford reported higher earnings than usual for the township-owned Lederach Golf Club. Gifford explained that 2012 income has so far surpassed projected income by $39,000.
“The encouraging news is, when the weather is good the golf course is being used and is able to sustain itself,” Gifford said.