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BY CATHY DYSON
Library officials in King George County trimmed 30 percent off their budget request by removing decorative shelves and employee lockers and by cutting the cost of new tables and chairs.
They also agreed to put some of the "less old" computers currently being used into the new expansion at L.E. Smoot Memorial Library at King George Courthouse.
Supervisors were satisfied with the cuts. They agreed to give the library board another $209,000 for furniture, equipment and installation fees, instead of the $300,000 that library officials requested two weeks ago.
"You've done what I wanted to see you did a scrub," said Supervisor Joe Grzeika. "You've done a great job, and I'm ready to support this request."
Four of five supervisors balked on Oct. 2 when Library Director Robin Tenney brought the initial request for more money to the board. The only one who didn't raise concerns about costs was Supervisor Dale Sisson Jr., whose wife, Tina, is chairwoman of the library's board of trustees.
Supervisor Ruby Brabo especially was bothered by a line item in the request. It showed a child's seat for $800, compared with chairs for adults and young adults for a third as much. The chair actually is a bench designed for a child and an adult.
Grzeika said he struggled to deal with the "huge change" and asked Tenney to take another look.
On Tuesday night, Tenney sat in the audience while Mike Gallier, a library trustee, explained what
The library cut its request for computers--which had totaled 49--by 15 units. Seven of those were the "less old" computers that Gallier said would be moved from the current library to the new expansion. The other eight were cut from the request; the library will seek funding for them in the 2014 budget, according to the request.
Other savings came through wireless cabling and the telephone system. Both cost less than estimates.
The library board saved $30,000 by cutting out decorative shelves and lockers for employees.
Supervisors toured the expansion Tuesday night before their meeting. They also visited the old King George Middle School, where the library has been operating during the expansion.
Supervisors praised library staff for keeping a smooth operation going during the expansion process. They also lauded the looks of the new expansion.
"It actually looked like a church on the inside, it was so beautiful," said board Chairman Cedell Brooks Jr. "I think the citizens of King George County will be very proud of what we have to offer them."
Last fall, the supervisors approved $4.86 million for the construction project that more than doubles the size of the county's only library. King George also appropriated $800,000 for furniture, technology-related expenses and various fees.
The $209,000 the supervisors approved on Tuesday is in addition to the $800,000 already spent. The additional money will come from the county's Capital Improvement Fund.
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425