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Updated 11:00am - Nov 26, 2014

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Local officials working together to find way to fund county library

By Karen Wilkinson

Triplicate staff writer

To help fund the cash-strapped Del Norte County Library, local public officials are looking to work together to conjure up solutions.

"I don't know if I have all the answers, but between the city, county and schools, we should be able to come up with something," said county Supervisor Dave Finigan.

On Tuesday the Board of Supervisors discussed ways to fund the library, which in recent weeks has taken blows to its budget, including the rejection of sales tax Measure A by the voters in the June 6 primary election.

Finigan said he hopes a city, county and schools partnership will work with the library district to help share the promotion of literacy.

"What can we as agencies that have general funds do to assist?" Finigan said. "Maybe the county and city need to help out of (their) general funds."

Last week the library board, in the wake of Measure A's failure, cut the library's operating hours and eliminated its popular Wonder Bus program for children.

"Our current funding structure locks us in the basement," said library board member Tedd Ward. "We're the poorest library of our size in the state."

Schools Superintendent Jan Moorehouse said local agencies are still in preliminary conversational steps about how to help the library, but she's hopeful that progress will come.

"We want library services in our community," she said. "We all share that value and we want to see how can we help."

Finigan said the school district could apply for grants that could be used for the library or look into other "stuff the library district couldn't do on its own but the school district is eligible for."

Ward said he's open to any ideas that would generate money for the library.

"Everybody's strapped, but that doesn't mean there isn't anything we can do," he said.

Finigan said people like community partnerships, and they're beneficial as more heads are working together to solve one problem.

"We can hep arrive at the solution together," Finigan said. "The more you tie groups together, the easier it is to find the funding."

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