Referendum vote curtails library plans

Area B residents decided on Saturday not to enter into library service with the city of Trail

Collections and programming at the Trail and District Public Library will suffer after a decision by Area B residents on Saturday not to enter into library service with the city, says the chair of the library board.

Barbara Gibson said the biggest impact of the ‘No’ vote is the library will not be able to add to the collections as planned, and adult and children programming won’t be expanded as was proposed.

Last year the Trail library extended borrowing privileges to Area B residents for 2011 and over 200 people signed up for a card. But the regional district area gave $20,000 to the library for the service in order to gauge the level of interest in the service.

With 200 being more than the number that voted against adding in the service to the tax list, just how the referendum question was defeated — with a 178 to 39 vote — was unclear, said Gibson.

“The results were a tad surprising,” she said. “But it’s a democracy and that’s how it works. If people do not want to pay for library service through their taxes, then they are non residents and they have to pay the money individually.”

Area B residents are now considered non-residents and they will have to pay $50 per year for a card for anyone over 19 years of age. For anyone under 19 it is $20 per year.

The tax increase was slated to be less than $50 per $200,000 for assessed property value, less than the annual cost of a card for non-residents.