Vernon’s neighbours have been put on notice.
City representatives used Wednesday’s Regional District of North Okanagan meeting to let Coldstream and Areas B and C know they are being asked to contribute funds to keep the Vernon library open Sundays.
“Their residents also benefit from the library,” said Catherine Lord, a city director.
Vernon council recently added $21,000 to the 2015 municipal budget to keep the Okanagan Regional Library’s Vernon branch open Sundays.
ORL was considering closing the branch Sundays (it is open four hours that day from October to April) to bring the branch’s services in alignment with the taxes the community contributes to operations.
Juliette Cunningham, a Vernon director, believes it’s appropriate for the city to seek support from Coldstream and the electoral areas.
“We’ve done the same for library furniture and Coldstream has pitched in before,” she said.
No commitments were made by the other jurisdictions Wednesday.
“I will certainly consider it. How much I can give is the issue,” said Mike Macnabb, Area C director.
A recent ORL study showed there was a $371,000 difference between the services provided and the taxation Vernon provides for operations.
ORL hopes to recoup $78,000 through changes to staffing, although much of that may occur through attrition (retirement).
Macnabb isn’t convinced that linking taxation to services received should be ORL’s only consideration when operating a branch.
“Vernon is consistently the highest circulating branch in the entire system,” he said.