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Library budget includes renovations, pay raises

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The county library system hopes to replace aging equipment such as boilers, renovate some space in its libraries and give employees a raise in 2014.

Johnson County Public Library plans to spend about $400,000 more next year, with most of the increase going toward building maintenance, new equipment and furniture, and more books. But that number likely will decrease later this year after the state reviews the library’s budget, director Beverly Martin said. In the past few years, the state has had the library district cut between $200,000 and $300,000 each year.

The library’s tax rate is expected to stay about the same at about 7 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, Martin said. The owner of a $100,000 home in the county library district pays about $23 per year for the library.

Planned energy-efficiency projects would replace boilers at two branches, install new lighting and make other upgrades at all four branches and the library service center. Officials also would like to do smaller renovation projects, such as creating group learning areas for children and students or more space for technology classes, Martin said.

The total spent on salaries will decrease slightly next year, even with a 3 percent salary increase for staff. Four management-level employees retired, and two were replaced with new employees who earn less, Martin said. The library also did not fill two part-time librarian positions and instead made changes in scheduling.

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