County, library and towns try to cobble together a plan to save the libraries

Negotiations between Mecklenburg County towns and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library continued Tuesday in downtown Charlotte at the law offices of Robinson, Bradshaw and Hinson. Library officials have asked towns—specifically Mint Hill, Matthews, Davidson and Cornelius—to pitch in a total of $700,000 to sustain the library system for the next fiscal year. Mint Hill is the only town that is on board with donating the money—as long as Mint Hill’s library stays open—but Mayor Ted Biggers said it would be difficult for the town to give money if it meant other towns aren’t paying their fair share.
Last Friday, Biggers attended the first of the formal negotiations. Towns, including Charlotte, were represented by at least mayors and town staff, while library board members and staff including Director Charles Brown represented the library. County officials included Board of Commissioner Chairwoman Jennifer Roberts.
Towns don’t think they can sell the library plan to their boards without tweaking it considerably. The towns want to help, but the road ahead could be tricky.
“We have to think outside the box,” Davidson Mayor John Woods said. “Then I believe the towns could cobble together a plan that would be acceptable.” Continue reading

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