COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
Request for Donation to Gordonsville Branch Library
Consider providing funding for the construction of the Gordonsville Branch Library
Messrs. Tucker, Elliott, Davis
LEGAL REVIEW: Yes
September 3, 2008
ACTION: X INFORMATION:
During the August 3, 2008 meeting of the Board of Supervisors, Mayor Bob Coiner of the Town of Gordonsville requested that the Board consider donating funding for construction of a new Gordonsville library which will be operated as part of the Orange County Library system (See Attachment A). Mayor Coiner pointed out that residents living in the northeast quadrant of the County of Albemarle benefit from the existing Gordonsville branch library and the availability of a new and more modern facility would further enhance their library experience. The Mayor further indicated that the County of Orange has allocated sufficient funding for construction of a 900 square foot branch for Gordonsville; however, the Town is attempting to raise an additional $300,000 to provide additional space and amenities for its users. The Board requested staff to confer with the Jefferson Madison Regional Library and develop a recommendation for its consideration.
Goal 1: Enhance the Quality of Life for all Citizens
The County of Albemarle is a member of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library (JMRL) System and currently appropriates $3.2 million of its general fund revenues for the operation of this system. The JMRL was created to provide and regulate library services to the residents of the City of Charlottesville and the Counties of Albemarle, Louisa, Nelson and Greene. According to JMRL data, approximately 45,000 Albemarle County citizens hold library cards and account for 58.2 percent of all circulation for the JMRL system. In addition, the County’s adopted capital improvement plan is programming approximately $50.0 million for construction of new libraries in the County over the next ten (10) years. Given its funding obligations to JMRL, staff is not aware of previous Board allocations for operational support of other library systems outside of the JMRL.
Based upon information provided by the Office of Geographic Data Services (GDS), less than 5 percent of the County’s population resides within a 10 mile radius of the Town of Gordonsville (See Attachment B). Moreover, JMRL advises that approximately 320 Albemarle residents currently use the Gordonsville Library while 611 Orange/ Gordonsville residents use JMRL services. Accordingly, the number of Albemarle County residents benefiting from the Gordonsville Library represents 0.35 percent of the county’s total population base.
The County legally cannot donate funding directly to the Town of Gordonsville or to Orange County, which operates the library, unless the funding is for services provided under a joint exercise of powers agreement approved by ordinance. However, it may be possible for indirect funding to be donated to a charitable institution or association if such institution or association provides library services to the residents of the County.
No funding for this request is currently provided for in the adopted Operating or Capital budgets and would therefore have to be allocated from the Board’s Reserve.
Staff recommends that the Board remain focused on using its increasingly limited revenues to serve the best interests of the largest possible number of county residents through its ongoing annual operating funding support for JMRL as well as development of enhanced library facilities throughout Albemarle County. Staff recommends that should the Board decide to consider this request, that it do so in the context of its overall library funding strategy and in relation to its adopted CIP process.
A - Letter from Mayor Coiner requesting the donation
B - Map from GDS showing population near Gordonsville
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