On April 2, legislators adopted a $21.8 billion budget for fiscal year 2016 that includes more than $10 million in bond funds for six library construction projects and a further $1,885,000 in bond funds for repair- and-renovation projects at more than 70 existing facilities.
“Our gratitude goes to all our elected officials for the inclusion of these capital outlay projects for new and renovated public libraries,” said State Librarian Julie Walker. “This represents the most projects funded in one year since FY2010.
The four largest capital grants, each for $2 million, will be used to build a new Harris County Public Library in Hamilton, a new Harlem Public Library in Columbia County, and to conduct major expansions of both the Sharon Forks Library in Forsyth County and the Cobb County Public Library System’s East Marietta Library. Another $1.5 million is for a new, 15,000-square-foot Villa Rica Public Library to serve residents in Carroll and Douglas counties, a project that was included in the governor’s original $45 billion FY2016 budget plan, announced in January.
“The West Georgia Regional Library (WGRL) system received a partial grant of $500,000 in FY2015 with assurances the remaining $1,500,000 would be awarded in FY2016,” explained Walker.
The remaining $565,000 in the General Assembly’s budget for capital projects will be used to expand the Three Rivers Regional Library System’s (TRRLS) Charlton County Public Library in Folkston.
With the exception of the appropriation for the Villa Rica Public Library, all library-associated bond funds were added by the Senate and House to the governor’s original budget recommendations for FY2016.
The revised budget now awaits [the governors] approval and signature.
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