Board of Commissioners will allow Wright Branch Library to use 1% sales tax funds

The Campbell County Board of Commissioners approves the county's fiscal year 2022-2023 budget. (Gillette Public Access)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Campbell County Board of Commissioners will allow Wright Branch Library, but not Campbell County Public Library, to use optional 1% sales tax funds for children’s and young adults’ services.

Not including any grant money, the Campbell County Public Library System will receive $3,811,542 for fiscal year 2023, which includes the $9,150 for Wright, Chief Deputy County Clerk Kendra Anderson said Thursday.

At its Monday night budget hearing, the Campbell County Board of County Commissioners voted 3-2 to reinstate $9,150 in funding for Wright Library for fiscal year 2022-2023, Commissioner Rusty Bell said Thursday. Bell said he joined commissioners Bob Maul and Don Hamm in voting for the reinstatement while commissioners Del Shelstad and Colleen Faber voted against it.

The Board of Commissioners approved the amendment at its Tuesday meeting when it adopted the county’s FY 2022-2023 budget. The Campbell County Board of Commissioners’ draft budget had previously denied both branches optional 1% sales tax funding.

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Campbell County Public Library System’s youth and young adult services’ budget is $100,687, and $41,750 of those funds come from the optional 1% sales tax funds, Public Library System Executive Director Terri Lesley said at the library board’s May meeting in Wright. The Campbell County Public Library could have received $32,600 through the optional 1% sales tax funds.

Various community members have praised and criticized the Board of Commissioners at previous meetings regarding their draft decision.

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Campbell County Public Library System’s next meeting is at 4 p.m. June 27 in Campbell County Public Library’s Wyoming Room.

According to the agenda, the library board’s discussion will include the following:

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  • 2022-2023 FY budget
  • May financial and expenditure reports
  • Library use and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Parenting collection
  • Library collection management
  • Library Board appointments
  • Creative Aging Grant
  • Special meeting

While the meeting was originally scheduled to be a joint meeting with county commissioners, that meeting has been postponed because the joint meeting agenda was very short, Bell said. A Campbell County Office of Commissioners employee confirmed that the joint meeting is postponed because of lack of agenda.

County commissioners will be interviewing candidates for county board appointments, including library board vacancies, on June 27. The interviews are open to the public. They are scheduled to run from 8:20 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. at the Commissioners Chambers, at 500 S. Gillette Ave. in Gillette.

The Campbell County Public Library is at 2101 S. 4-J Road in Gillette.

Campbell County Public Library and Wright Branch Library officials were not immediately available Thursday for comment on the Campbell County Board of Commissioners’ decisions.