Pennington County is unable to pay their library bill, according to a letter sent to area libraries by the county commissioners earlier this month. Back in 1998, Pennington County voters approved a measure for the county to provide library services. This was done through a contract with the city libraries, where Pennington County paid a portion of each library's operating costs in return for the libraries issuing cards to county residents. Now, according to the Rapid City Journal, the county does not presently have sufficient cash reserves to pay their library bill. The effect of this late payment varies from library to library. Wall Library receives $16,000 from the county, making up around half of their yearly budget. The Rapid City Public Libraries receives about 14.5% of their budget from the county, which amounts to $437,000.
There are still routes the commissioners can take to pay the bill. If they do not, the libraries will have to look at how they could make up the shortfall.
Currently, Pennington County residents can acquire Rapid City library cards at no cost. Without the agreement with the county, they would have to pay the same rate as nonresidents, $90 per year to use the library's services.
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