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Brownton City Council turns down increase request from Pioneerland

The Brownton City Council decided Sept. 5 to not give Pioneerland Library System a requested 3 percent increase for the city’s contribution toward the Brownton Public Library expenses.
In fact, citing the fact that the library is not being fully staffed and therefore is not always open for scheduled hours, the City Council approved a motion to budget $5,857 for 2018, which is $1,247 less than the $7,104 it budgeted in 2017. Pioneerland’s request for 2018 was for $7,317. The figure settled upon, $5,857, is the state-certified minimum level of support for Brownton.
City Clerk Ella Kruse said she had spoken to Pioneerland’s executive director about the library not always being open when it should be.
“Her response was that they were short of help, and are doing the best they can,” said Kruse.
“I called there, too, and got pretty much the same response,” said Mayor Norm Schwarze.
Council Member Curt Carrigan, who made the motion to fund the library at the minimum level, said he cannot see giving the system more money when Brownton is getting less service.
“I don’t feel comfortable giving them more money, either,” agreed Council Member Tim Olson.
For more from the council meeting, including a preliminary 2018 levy and budget, see the Sept. 13 print edition of The Chronicle.