JoAnn Kalenak, Senior Blogger, DCCR — The Library District told the public in this morning’s KVNF newscast that a $536,000 unbudgeted expense to build a hastily planned new branch in Delta isn’t the cause for their current fiscal woes. Instead, they blamed taxpayers for their troubles because voters turned down two ballot measures that would have increased the District’s share of levy taxes.

They must think we’re stupid.

(And so sad that Lisa Young — sorry my friend — felt the need to apologize for earlier reporting…you’re usually able to ferret the truth.)

The Library District also told Lisa at this morning’s newscast that they plan to use the $50,000 that the county annually gives the District for capital improvements meant for all five libraries to pay for any further cost overruns that the new project might incur. Under an Intergovernmental Agreement, the District committed to an open-ended promise to pay 33% of any overruns to build the new branch.

Bottom line, the District is going from an $870K reserve in 2021 to a planned $50K reserve in 2023. They have announced that they will again go to the voters to raise levy taxes next year.

It appears to me that the District seems to be positioning themselves to either suck more money from the taxpayers to pay for their really bad decisions, OR blame the public, if they lose, for any closures and/or service limitations that they will be forced to make in the future.

Further, the District told Lisa that it would have been more expensive to stay in the Carnegie building than to build a new facility.

Again, they must think we’re stupid.

Sadly, the District has complete autonomy when it comes to how they spend their money. The only body that they answer to is the public. Well, this citizen is pissed as hell. I won’t be voting to support the District until some serious leadership problems are addressed. The District should be held accountable for their missteps — not the public.

JoAnn Kalenak is a senior blogger for Delta County Citizen Report (DCCR) and 20-year resident of Hotchkiss, CO.