A slight increase in taxation is likely for the region’s library system.
Okanagan Regional Library directors have been presented with the 2016 draft budget, including a 1.98 per cent increase in the financial plan.
“The majority of the expense is wages so there’s cost of living involved,” said director Mike Macnabb.
The hike also reflects higher rent for branch sites, higher utility costs and rising book and eResource expenses based on inflation and the lower Canadian dollar.
The budget also covers the possibility of moving furniture purchases into the regular ORL levy. Currently, these are funded by municipalities in a separate process.
“Regional districts have no mechanism for furnishings so there’s a suggestion it be a budget line item and it come from (ORL) taxation,” said Macnabb.
“We have to make sure it’s not a slush fund.”
Directors have asked staff for clarification about how such a policy would work.
The 2016 budget will not be finalized until November.
“We still have some tweaking to do,” said Macnabb.
Okanagan Regional Library is also entering into a strategic planning session to determine the future of libraries and what services residents will expect.
Public input will be sought about long-term library services and it’s expected the strategic plan will be completed by February.