B and C missing from library

Keeping the Okanagan Regional Library Vernon Branch open on Sunday's doesn't come without some kind of additional cost. 

For Vernon and Coldstream it is an expense it can justify to its taxpayers. However, for the Regional District of the North Okanagan, it is a tougher pill to swallow.

"The library is a community library and a lot of people from other jurisdictions use it, and it is a little disheartening that the regional district doesn't think that they need to give any monetary input to help run it." 

Vernon councillor and RDNO alternate director, Dalvir Nahal has voiced her displeasure at the regional district's decision to not chip in the extra expense to keep the library open on Sundays. 

"Two years ago when they [Okanagan Regional Library Vernon Branch] approached us they were looking to shut down on Sundays because they just didn't have the funding," she said. "So we made the decision to keep it open because we know how important it is for our community, especially young families to utilize the resources the library offers." 

This is the second year the City of Vernon has requested contributions from Coldstream and the regional district, and while Coldstream has chipped in the regional district has declined both years. 

"We would never say that if the regional district doesn't pay, those people can't use the library," says Nahal. "So we are trying to think in the better interest of the whole community."

The electoral directors of areas B and C decided that additional funding to the library was not in the best interest of their taxpayers.

"Both electorial areas contribute a lot of money to the library already," said electoral area B director Bob Fleming. "It is based on taxation just like everybody else, so our contribution in electoral areas B and C is proportional."

Fleming says that the decision to add extra funding to the library to keep it open on Sunday was made by the City of Vernon and that the electoral areas B and C were not consulted. 

"There is a substantial tax requisition for library service already," says Fleming. "The decision to make a change to the hours and a change to the cost was made in the absence of any input from the electoral areas. It was really only a request to help fund the change after the decision was made, and at that point, we declined to do that." 

For her part, Nahal believes that everybody using the library should pay a fair share.

"We want everybody to contribute. Sunday is a family day, and a lot of people use it [Okanagan Regional Library Vernon Branch] and I am sure that a lot of people from areas B and C use it as well." 

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