Kokomo — The architect in charge of designing the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library’s Main Library renovation said Monday work is on schedule for an early October opening.
Library officials think they’ll get the keys to the building Sept. 10, and then spend the next three weeks moving in, which would put the opening around Oct. 4.
No date has been set for a public grand opening yet, however.
Also Monday, library officials learned they may have to cut about $800,000 from the library budget next year, due to the effect of property tax caps.
Library board president Susan Luttrell said board members will consider a number of options for reducing the deficit, but probably won’t bring back fees to check out audio-visual materials.
“The fees really didn’t bring us that much money,” she said.
Other options include reducing the amount the library sets aside each year for future improvements.
Regular allocations to the Library Improvement Reserve Fund over the years allowed the library board to pay for the $3.4 million renovation without raising taxes or floating debt.
The library was scheduled to put $600,000 into LIRF this year and $330,000 next year, but those amounts were decided prior to anyone knowing the full impact of the tax caps.
Because the total assessed value of businesses and residences in Howard County dropped drastically over the past year, the property tax rates will all increase.
The increased rates will then cause more properties to hit the 1 percent, 2 percent or 3 percent caps, resulting in decreased revenue for local government.
• Scott Smith is a Kokomo Tribune staff writer. He may be reached at 765-454-8569 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org