A newly formed library district board debated whether to ask Jackson County commissioners to contribute $800,000 to help out the fledgling organization during its first year.
"It would be a welcome gift," said Carol Doty, who sought the county contribution after she was sworn in as a library district board member this morning.
Doty said the county has used $800,000 in video lottery dollars to fund library operations, and she said she hoped the county would provide the money for one more year.
Three other board members present rejected the idea, saying the district should fend for itself financially. They also viewed the proposal as a stumbling block in ongoing negotiations with the county.
"It's not a logical option at this point," said member Maureen Swift. "We've been clearly told there is no appetite in county government for it."
The library board wants to increase hours and assume the more than $500,000 that Ashland, Talent and other communities currently pay to supplement hours at their branches.
The district will rely on Jackson County to fund libraries until it can start collecting property tax revenue in November, though the county expects to be reimbursed.
— Damian Mann