In Berkeley Springs, the Morgan County Public Library is up against the wall.
It’s yearly budget is a mere $115,000.
But there is a shortfall of about $40,000.
Connie Perry is the President of the Morgan County Public Library.
“When we originally built the library, the library received $33,000 a year from the school levy and $18,000 a year from the County Commission, ” Perry told Russell Mokhiber of This Week in Morgan County. “We got a grant from the state library commission for $57,000. You have to match that grant with public funds.”
“Right now we are in a financial crisis because in the last school levy, the library was not included. We lost $33,000 a year. The County Commission had agreed to fund us with $28,000. But they notified us just recently that we were only going to get $18,000.”
Why did the County Commission renege on its agreement?
“I assume it had to do with the funds available,” Perry said. “We just got that notification. Now, we have to match the $57,000, which means we have to raise $39,000 to match the state grant.”
The funds need to be raised to keep the doors of the library open.
To raise funds, the library will be holding a benefit USO Show featuring music and stars from the 1940s. It will be Sunday November 13 at 3 pm at the American Legion in Berkeley Springs.
Perry said that the County Commission should “make a larger commitment to support the library.”
“The County Commissioners should support the library more because the people want and support the library and they have shown that time and time again,” Perry said.
Perry runs a real estate company in town and says that retirees and people looking for second homes are driving the residential market in Morgan County. She was also involved in the deal that brought the new Tractor Supply store to Morgan County.
What about a Wal-Mart?
Perry says in the past, she has been involved in talks with Wal-Mart.
“They want so many people going by their front door an hour before they open a store,” Perry said. “What they have determined is that the Wal-Mart stores in Hagerstown, Martinsburg and Winchester serve this area. That’s the reason some of the bigger stores haven’t come here. They have to have so much money come in their door every hour to justify them having a store here.”
“I worked with Tractor Supply. I sold them the land. They looked at how many cars go by the location. Our two lane highway – US 522 – is the second most traveled two lane highway in the United States. A lot of smaller companies are looking for that. If so many cars go by their store, a certain percentage of cars will stop. Wal-Mart wants so many people in the door an hour. Tractor Supply doesn’t need that many people in the door an hour. And that’s the size of store we are going to get.”
Perry said her understanding is that when the new Sheetz opens on Rt. 13 and US 522, the old Sheetz on Route 9 and US 522 will remain open.