Tax relief may cut county library hours – Closing Summer Saturdays?


SOUTH BEND — Indiana’s new property tax reform law may mean the elimination of Saturday hours at all St. Joseph County Public Library locations, library Director Donald Napoli said.

As a result of the new law, the county library is looking at a possible loss of $790,000 in tax revenue in 2009 and a loss of $1.6 million in 2010, plus elimination of $750,000 in the library’s capital projects fund, Napoli said.

“We’ll probably close on Saturdays come this summer,” he said. “We need to deal with it right now. We can’t wait until next year.”

Reduced funding also likely will mean a reduction in staff through attrition and a 12 percent cut in purchases of books and other library materials in each of the next two years, he said.

The grim forecast is based on income projections by the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns as the result of the new law, Napoli said.

Napoli and library trustees will discuss the fiscal impact at a meeting of the library board at 4:15 p.m. Monday at the Main Library, 304 S. Main St.

The budget cuts won’t affect the county library system’s building projects. The four city branches each are being renovated and expanded by 3,000 square feet. And ground will be broken this spring for a German Township Branch and a replacement Francis Branch in Clay Township