Rincon City Council has agreed to support the Effingham County library system, committing $12,000 it had set aside in its fiscal year 2015 budget.
Council members also asked if the money could be directed toward the Rincon library.
“I would like to see it designated for the Rincon library,” said Mayor Ken Lee.
Added Reese Browher: “If we spend that money, it would be nice to have that earmarked for the (Rincon) library.”
The Live Oak Public Library System operates the two branches in Effingham, one in Springfield and one in Rincon. Altogether, Live Oak operates the libraries in three counties, including Chatham and Liberty.
The Rincon branch’s hours have been reduced over the years, as funding for the libraries has been rolled back. Its current hours are Monday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Tuesday, 2-6 p.m., and Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. It is closed on Sundays.
In 2009, the Rincon library was open 60 hours a week, and the Springfield library was open 52 hours a week.
“It’s a great organization,” said council member James Dasher. “The numbers are staggering. It surprises me how many people go in there on a daily basis.”
With the stipend for the library, Rincon City Council members also may ask if the city can have a seat on the library board. There are currently six seats on the county library board.
In its fiscal year 2015 budget, the county is spending nearly $500,000 on the libraries, an increase of $50,000 over the previous two budgets. Rincon city attorney Raymond Dickey noted that under the service delivery agreement between the cities and the county, the library is seen as a countywide service.
Guyton also has provided financial support for the libraries, contributing $8,000 in FY14.