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NOLS facing squeezed budget

December 5th, 2013 - 5:41am

(Port Angeles) -- Property tax revenues throughout Clallam County declined again this year and that has led to another reduction in the 2014 budget for the North Olympic Library System.

Aside from curtailing such projects as the expansion of the library in Sequim, the library board is worried about their ability to recruit and retain employees and maintaining normal business hours. Library director Paula Barnes says the board decided to provide a 3% cost of living wage increase for employees, who had only been at 1% for the previous years between 2008 through 2013.

Barnes says 2012 saw a 9% drop in the County's property tax revenues, followed by a 5.8% drop in 2013. Estimates for 2014 still are predicting a loss of tax revenue, but it does show a slowing tend, with just a 1% reduction.

Because of the trend of declining revenues, the board has directed library staff to conduct a review of both staffing levels and operating hours in conjunction with the trends of library use by the public.

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