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Cass library funding intact in preliminary budget

Cass County’s portion of the Kitchigami Regional Library System remains fully funded with a final decision expected Tuesday.

At last Tuesday’s Crow Wing County meeting, it was reported Cass County’s funding was cut by 5 percent. But Neal Gaalswyk, Cass County commissioner and liaison to the Kitchigami board, said while that came up in a library report at the last Kitchigami board meeting the funding has not been reduced in the preliminary budget.

The Cass County Board will meet for a final budget and levy adoption on Tuesday.

Gaalswyk said the county board wanted to see what members of the public said at the truth in taxation meeting in early December. From that session and in general, Gaalswyk said he is “not sensing sentiment to reduce that.”

“People who have talked to me are supportive of it,” Gaalswyk said of the library funding.

Cass County’s contribution to Kitchigami was $328,023 in 2011. Cass County could have reduced its budget by $41,943.

Final budget decisions are pending as part of Cass County’s regularly scheduled budget adoption session on Tuesday.

The mobile library has been named as one of the areas that could be cut if funding is reduced for the library system. In a memorandum to Cass County, Marian Ridge, Kitchigami Regional Library System director, said as far as regionwide trends the mobile library is used more intensely than any of the small branch libraries in the regional system.

Gaalswyk said the board does want to continue to talk about more efficient delivery of library services, but commissioners want those discussions to be well thought out instead of making cuts and then figuring out how to handle the changes.

RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at or 855-5852.

Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
(218) 855-5852