McNairy County restores budget for city library

SELMER, Tenn. — More budget battles arise for McNairy County after the secretary of state said its expenditure for the Jack McConnico Memorial Library isn’t enough.

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 2.58.47 PMThe commission approved $78,000 as the library’s 2016-17 operating budget, well below last year’s funding. After a letter from the Tennessee Secretary of State office was sent to McNairy County Mayor Ronnie Brooks, the County Commission restored the McConnico Library budget.

The $78,000 did not meet the maintenance of effort requirement for state and regional library support.

“The maintenance of effort’s requirement is there to make sure that libraries are treated fairly when it comes to budget consideration” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said.

State Librarian Charles Sherill is the one who wrote the letter. He said there has been discussion about closing the library in Selmer to complete necessary repairs, but Mayor Brooks said if the library closed down it would only be temporary.

“There’s misinformation out there. There was never any intent to close the library permanently. That was never the intention,” Mayor Brooks said.

Library Director Robbie Harris said the newly budgeted amount will be split 60-40 between both the libraries in Selmer and Adamsville.

“The Jack McConnico Library will be using $100,986 and the Irving Meek Library will be using $40, 717,” Harris said.

Secretary of State Tre Hargett says sending out the letter will let cities know they are serious about state policy.

“If we don’t enforce this, then it sends a message to every other county government, city government and the state that libraries can be cut however they want to cut them,” Hargett said.

Harris said the state and federal funds will be released quarterly to buy new materials. Renovations to the library should begin within the next few weeks.

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