Library Might Close

By: Aaron Oberlin

TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. – Beginning Oct. 1, the Temple Terrace Public Library will cut some hours from its regular operating hours to save money in an attempt to prevent the library from possibly closing.

The decision is a precautionary measure in case the Super Homestead Exemption passes this upcoming Jan. 29. It is an alternative to the current homestead exemption. It would take away county and state funding.

Library Director Mary Satterwhite, a 36-year employee, said Tuesday night at a city council meeting, if nothing is done, then “there will not be a library next year.” The year would span from October 2008 – October 2009.

The hour cuts will not provide enough funds to sustain the library alone.

According to Satterwhite, by doing so, the library will save more than $29,000 a year.

County funding for Temple Terrace is $268,000 a year, said Satterwhite. Not all of it goes to the library. State funding goes to the library through Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative. Temple Terrace Public Library received approximately $37,000 last year.

Satterwhite suggested cutting the first hour in the morning and the last hour in the evening, which has the least traffic. The council voted non-unanimously for it. The new hours are 10 a.m.–8 p.m., Monday-Thursday. Friday-Sunday remain the same.

Alison M. Fernandez, a city council member, didn’t vote for the hour cuts. She said, “One thing that makes this a great place to live is the amenities.” Other libraries will be lost in the county, and service will increase locally. Money needs to come from somewhere else.

The city is getting the “short end of the stick all the way around.” Frank M. Chillura, a city council member, said. There are 22,000 citizens in Temple Terrace. There are 74,000 members of its library. Since more than two-thirds of members are not from Temple Terrace, the county needs to help.

Kim Leinbach, city manager, said the city is working on more annexations. This could help the library situation.

The city wants to collect taxes for delivering utility services to residential areas of Hillsborough County, says Community Service Director Ralph Bosek. The city will try to annex these areas, which are between Temple Terrace Highway and Harney Road.

According to Christy Supp, a representative of Hillsborough County Planning and Growth Management, in regards to annexation, nothing formal has been filed yet.

Annexing a property is not that difficult. “Usually, if it is in compliance with state law, it goes through.” Supp says.

Supp and Bosek both say it could take up to six months for an annex to be complete after it is formalized.


9 Responses to “Library Might Close”

  1. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    very good story. I can’t believe you got in touch with all those people. The city manager and council people. Good reporting.

  2. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    really good story. i just think the lede could be changed to “will cut down from its regular operating hours” instead of using hours twice. but your works too.

  3. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    This is a major topic. Great reporting skills. Lots of good information.

  4. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    YEAH, this story is GREAT because it is timely, and extremely interesting, relates directly to Temple Terrace and affects many people in the area, from little children to elderly people.
    your a genius
    courtney a

  5. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    great story. An article like this not only informs the public of the potential closeing but could also help produce donations from people who don’t nessesarily know how bad the library needs money. Good quotes and great job reporting.

  6. Christine Wolstenholme Says:

    Solid reporting and great topic.

  7. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    Very good, except for a few errors in the beginning paragraph. Overall, it’s a very informative article that I know would capture the reader’s attention.

  8. Priscilla Says:

    Excellent story, organization, quotes and reader catch.

  9. Ro &Lo Says:

    Great story. You did good Mr. O. Especially at getting everyones names and quotes. Good job:)

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