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Olive Hill votes to fund library

City looking at CARES, LIHEAP and other funding sources

By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

The city of Olive Hill took action in a special session budget meeting to help keep the Carter County Library running while the county looks at other funding on the same evening that the city of Grayson voted not to continue funding the library. 

Library board member Jeff Erwin addressed the Olive Hill Council while librarian and director Christy Boggs was in Grayson addressing that city’s counterparts. Erwin explained to council the various services the library offers besides book loans; including internet and computer access, space for GED training, special events like magic shows for area children, space for a Dungeons & Dragons club, access to Nintendo Switch video games, and meeting space for various groups and organizations.

He said with the library budget as low as it is, Boggs had taken a pay cut, and had not drawn a pay check in several weeks. While Mayor Jerry Callihan said he would support a vote to fund the library, he also said he would like a statement “in writing” indicating that if a lack of funding led to one of the branches being closed, it would not be the Olive Hill branch. He also said if the fiscal court moved to cover the amount previously paid by the city of Grayson, he felt they should cover the Olive Hill portion of library funding as well. In the past the two cities and the county have each contributed $25,000 to running the library system, paid in $6,250 quarterly payments, for a total operating fund of $75,000 from local government sources. 

Olive Hill council moved to approve the quarterly payment of $6,250 for the library, with payment approved unanimously. 

In other action council approved an amended budget, accepted reports from city clerk and treasurer Chimila Hargett and discussed various budget issues, including AEP’s low income home energy assistance program (LIHEAP) and possible reimbursement through CARES Act funding sources. Hargett said the city has $161,000 in credit available through LIHEAP, which can be used to cover payment delinquencies. Hargett said the city was also looking at “every possibility” for the use of CARES Act funding. She also reported that the city only had $4,000 in outstanding uncollected taxes, however for the past two years the city hasn’t collected any pole rental fees from Windstream. 

“Not a penny,” Hargett reported. 

Council also accepted budgets from the police and fire departments, and approved classification for the newly created position of records clerk. 

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com

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