Library Corner: Our fiscal responsibility is important to everyone
Director of Public Services
Like most other library districts in Colorado, the Grand County Library District is supported primarily through property taxes. A 2.41 mill levy was initially adopted in 1994 and established GCLD as a special district funded separately from other county entities.
As a public entity, our goal for the past 25 years has been to be a good steward of public funds — the tax dollars you pay every year — while providing exemplary library services. We’re happy to report that we’ve made significant progress on that front in 2019.
Over the past 25 years, three permanent facilities have been built in Fraser, Granby, and Grand Lake. These buildings are not just a place to access our collections, but a warm, peaceful haven for people to sit quietly, work, read, meet friends, and most importantly be welcomed and respected.
Unfortunately, GCLD experienced declining revenues beginning in 2011, with property values declining countywide. Since then, the district has worked hard to streamline processes, maintain spending, and set reserve limits, all for the goal of achieving financial sustainability during economic uncertainty.
In November 2017, voters approved a temporary .95 addition to our current 2.41 mill levy to increase the total mill levy. This additional mill levy is earmarked for debt repayment. The increase of .95 to the mill levy will expire in 2026, and the 2.41 original mill levy will remain for operations.
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With the help of this additional mill levy, the district made a $1.145 million debt payment just this month. This paid our first matured bond principal and interest due in 2019, in addition to calling $970,000 of outstanding principal owed.
Also helping with the debt payment was the Grand County Library Foundation’s 2019 contribution of $55,000. Those funds are helping the district pay off its building debt 10 years early, allowing for a savings of over $2 million in interest, supporting the sustainability of our libraries.
Looking forward to next year, GCLD continues on its current path focused on people, place, and platform.
“We provide boundless opportunities for our community,” said Polly Gallagher, executive director of GCLD. “Our budget continues to provide a diverse collection with opportunities for learning and recreation. We support an online high school program and other means for creative and educational growth, as well as a place for people to come together.”
We are always thankful for the support we receive from our community, especially the Grand County Library Foundation and the Friends of the Grand County Library, Inc. In addition to your taxes, these organizations are essential to our efforts to provide quality programs and services to the citizens of Grand County.
If you want to contribute to your community’s libraries, we have many ways to get involved. To learn more about any of these opportunities, visit http://www.gcld.org.
• Apply to be a board member for the GCLD Board of Trustees, Grand County Library Foundation, or Friends of Grand County Library.
• Donate to the Grand County Library Foundation on Colorado Gives Day, now through Tuesday, Dec. 10.
• Attend the Friends of Grand County Library’s annual Progressive Dinner on Wednesday, Dec. 4.
• Visit one of our local libraries and explore our physical and digital collections.
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