Governor John Bel Edwards agreed to reschedule the fall 2021 elections in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. The Oct. 9 ballot will now be pushed back to Nov. 13, and the Nov. 13 election will now be held on Dec. 11.
One of the items on the Oct. 9 election – now Nov. 13 – is the Lincoln Parish Library millage renewal, which failed to pass in last December’s election. The Library has one more chance to have the millage renewal passed, or else it will most likely go under before the second half of 2022.
“The library, due to more budgetary cuts made around the time of my arrival, will have right around $1,000,000 at the end of this year,” Library Interim Director Marcie Nelson said. “The budget currently sits at about $1,900,000 for a year’s operation. That means that as of 2022, we will have just enough money in the bank to get us through June.”
While some may be concerned about the rescheduling of the Oct. 9 ballot, Lincoln Parish Police Jury Ex-Officio Richard Durrett is not.
“I do not think moving the election date for the Library millage renewal to November will have a negative effect,” he opined. “Actually, it could be positive by giving the voters more time to research the facts of the proposal.”
When asked why he thinks the library millage renewal did not pass the first time, Durrett replied, “I think some of the reasons the tax failed last time were bad publicity and misinformation. I do not think the public understood that if the tax does not pass, the Library will have to close because there will not be funds to continue.”
“There…seemed to be a lot of confusion around if the tax was new or a renewal. It is most certainly a renewal, and it is, in fact, much lower than the last two proposed,” she explained.
The library’s budget also played a role, according to Nelson and Durrett.
“I can say that the budget was certainly a point of concern for the public. The Board has heard its concern and, while formulating a plan and addressing budget cuts, these concerns were considered heavily,” Nelson added.
Durrett further noted that the Library Board has “reduced the proposed budget and reduced the employees by 9.”
“The proposed 4.49 mills renewal,” he said, “represents the most efficient use of taxpayers money to continue the current services. We have a good library and need a library in Lincoln Parish.”
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