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Library's Funding On Its Way

SANATOGA PA – Memo to the Pottstown Public Library: Lower Pottsgrove (PA) Township‘s second check is in the mail.

Funding restored.

Funding restored.

The township Board of Commissioners made good Monday night (Jan. 5, 2009) on its promise to restore $30,000 in financial support for the library that was initially cut from Lower Pottsgrove’s 2009 budget. With budget passage last month board members had already pledged $30,000, so their unanimously approved action Monday brings to $60,000 the total amount the library will receive from the township during the next 12 months.

“We do what we said we were going to do,” Commissioner James Phillips said of the board. The township’s annual contribution, which also amounted to $60,000 in 2008, supports library operations on behalf of more than 3,400 Lower Pottsgrove residents who the library claims as card-carrying patrons.

Because the additional money was not budgeted, commissioners authorized its payment from unreserved funds.

Voting on the matter took less than two minutes during the “old business” portion of Monday’s meeting agenda. That compares to weeks of controversy which ensued late last year when board members announced their intent to slash by half money paid to the library, the Visiting Nurse Association of Pottstown and Vicinity, the Pottstown Area Seniors Center, and the Lower Pottsgrove Historical Society.

Adverse public reaction surprised the board and prompted its reversal on the library’s funding. Board members in December said they would re-examine in mid-2009 – but unlike with the library, made no guarantee to restore – money they cut from contributions to the other three agencies.

In an e-mail circulated among township residents last month, the usually thick-skinned politicians were called “knuckleheads” and “cavalier” for the way in which the now-approved budget was handled. “We’re anything but,” Phillips responded last night. “We spent an awful lot of time on this budget … we’re nothing if we’re not diligent.”

Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ Jan. 5 meeting):

Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Township 2009 budget):

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