Energy bills, state cuts cut library hours
Published 12:00 am Friday, February 5, 2010
More cuts in state funding and high energy bills have added reasons for the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library to close for long weekends before Monday holidays.
The Veto Street facility will be closed Saturday, Feb. 13, and Presidents Day, which is Monday, Feb. 15. Regular Monday-through-Thursday hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Weekday hours were cut and holiday closures adjusted in September in a cost-saving move.
Director Deb Mitchell said the library usually closes for holidays, but natural gas bills totaling $1,500 in November and $3,500 in December played into the library’s decision to close from Friday afternoon until Tuesday morning.
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“We got slammed in December,” Mitchell said of the utility costs, citing the cold weather. Average high temperatures in Vicksburg were about 2 degrees cooler than normal in December, according to preliminary totals from the National Climatic Data Center.
The library was closed the Saturday before Martin Luther King Jr. Day and will follow the state’s lead on Saturday closures before observances of Memorial Day, Columbus Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day.
Funding from the Mississippi Library Commission is down more than $8,000 over last year, Mitchell said, with more cuts expected because of the state’s precarious budget situation.
“It won’t be the last,” Mitchell said, adding hours have been cut for the library’s part-time staff of five. Full timers continue to work 40 hours per week, she said.
Budget cuts in Warren County’s spending plan for 2009-10 trimmed the library’s funding by $13,566 compared to last year.
Contact Danny Barrett Jr. at email@example.com