It’s time to take a new look at library impact fees

22 Aug It’s time to take a new look at library impact fees

Support our Blossoming County Library System

If you have not had opportunity to meet the new Director of the Beaufort County Library System, Ray McBride, I would highly recommend it. He is a very approachable  breath of fresh air with an understanding of how libraries are not just a place to read magazines or check out books. Rather it is place of civets, the center of a community, from which much can come to make our hometown and our county  a better place to live.

A  number of years ago, when asked by Beaufort County to join the other municipalities and County Council in supporting a Library Impact Fee for new residential construction, Beaufort City Council was ready to say yea. Until . . . we reviewed the Library’s long-term plan that proposed to relocate central library employees from downtown to a new site outside of the city.. We opposed the thought of removing working people from jobs downtown as they are traditionally strong supporters of downtown merchants and eateries and the plan flew in the face of our infill and revitalization initiatives to give our downtown more authentic vitality with local working people working in it.

Given the incredible new energy, creativity and outreach for collaboration we are seeing from Ray McBride, the new leader of The Beaufort County Library System, I believe it is time to reconsider and likely join the County and other municipalities in the effort to raise what appears to be a small investment in a blossoming enterprise call The Beaufort County Library System.

Furthermore, as the Friends of the Library continue their tireless and successful on-going campaign to take the Library System one step further into the future, it is time to support them beyond my personal contributions of books and financial help.

This is of course not a decision I cannot, and would note take on alone, as it will require City Council discussion, fact finding as to how the dollars are spent and the projected return from asking our new home builders to chip in for what again I believe is in the best for the future of our city and county.

We will in the not too distant future have a council work session to discuss imposing the library impact fee.