(Atlantic) Atlantic City Administrator Doug Harris says he has some concerns at the circulation numbers and population of what Atlantic gets in support from the county of their public library compared to other cities in Cass County. Harris brought this to the attention of the Atlantic City Council Wednesday night.
“We looked at what percentage of the circulation at the library is to rural customers, non-city customers, and if you looked at that the fair share for the rural customers would almost be $72,000. If the county contributed that, since the city residents pay 30% of the county tax bill, the county would have to contribute almost $103,000 for the rural customers to pay their $72,000,” explained Harris.
Harris says the city currently receives $13,000 from the county. “The county funds an average of $4.42 based on circulation county-wide, whereas in Atlantic they are only funding 73-cents,” said Harris.
Harris says if they funded the Atlantic Public Library the $4.42 that they are funding the other cities in the county, then they would contribute $78,526.00 worth of funding to the city.
“I think we’re getting to the point that the city residents really can’t shoulder all that burden, the costs need to be more fairly allocated between county and city residents,” said Harris.
Harris says if it was based on population you can see that they have been funding a population base of $15.57 per capita where Atlantic gets a $1.83 per capita. And if they funded the city of Atlantic on a per capita basis the city would be provided the city of Atlantic $110,703.00.
“So, I guess as this shows you can come up with a formula that might use both population and circulation, but it would appear that they are funding about what we would say would be our fair share for the other cities, it’s just for some reason we seem to be underfunded,” said Harris. “I’m not sure how the occurred or why.”
Harris says this will be in discussion between the city and the county commissioners as they head into the budget season. Harris says the council should be thinking about the costs and make sure they are being fairly allocated.
A councilman questioned if anyone had approached the supervisors about this and Harris replied, “Not yet.”