Commission Relents; Library Funding Restored
7 Eyewitness News was told there were cheers heard all through the courthouse on Tuesday night's county commission meeting. Benton County commissioners and the library finally, came to an agreement. Rhonda Tippitt said she can't stop smiling. "It's nice to be able to smile, it was great to to go bed last night, even though I couldn't sleep, and not be worried. And it was wonderful to get up and come to work." After 10 months of what Tippitt called "drama", the Benton County library and county commission finally came to an agreement during the meeting. City officials said when the agreement was made, there were cheers all over the courtroom, that was full and overflowing into the hallway. Chairman of county commission, Dr. Ken Berry said Benton County "Friends of the Library" said they were willing to donate enough money into the county to meet the maintenance of effort agreement. A plan that meant the county would use the $10,000 of taxpayer money they already had, deposit it into the library budget, in an effort to get back their state funding. Tippitt said the "Friends of the Library" jumped on board with the "Save our Library" and told the county commission if they would put the appropriated tax dollars back in the library budget, they would raise funds to help compensate for that, and do it for 2 years. "When we get in writing from the "Friends of the Library" and from the Secretary of State that they're both committed to this deal, then we can proceed, and we did allocate the money last night, we appropriated it. That money will immediately be taken back if we don't get that in writing," said Dr. Berry. Tippitt said as soon as they receive a letter from the state, approving the compromise, they should start receiving their books and resources back.