Library Board explains branch closures to county

Library Director Ashley Moore and Chairman Guy Craft speak to County Commissioners Monday / Ashley Knight

Dougherty County Commissioners heard from the library board Monday about their decision to close two branches.

County commissioners were not notified before the decision was made, and commissioners wanted to know why. Chairman Guy Craft of the Library Board said the board didn't know until the vote took place. Still, the commission blamed Craft for not coming to them before, knowing they were already distressed financially. Commissioner John Hayes said they wouldn't have been able to give the board more money per se, but they might have been able to come up with a different solution.

The Southside and Westtown branches were closed July first due to budget cuts. Hayes laments the fact that now children and students in those areas will not have access to the other locations.

The county's contribution, which decreased by 3% this year, makes up 85% of the library's budget. The rest comes from state funds and fees.