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Deal reached for library funding

ZUMBROTA -- The Goodhue County Board agreed to a plan Thursday for contributing funds to libraries in the county.

The county will levy and collect funds on land that currently isn't taxed for library services, according to the agreement. It will provide $468,000 to the libraries in 2014, and that number will be the base for the funding in future years of the five-year agreement, Goodhue County Attorney Steve Betcher said.

Future contributions will be the previous year's amount adjusted by local consumer price index changes. The funding cannot increase by more than 4 percent in one year.

The libraries throughout the county must provide the same services to the county residents as city locals, such as use of all library materials and resources and children's programs.

"This has been a very positive process working with the libraries," Betcher said. "We think it's a very progressive arrangement."

Betcher said Southeastern Libraries Cooperating and the individual library boards have already approved the plan.

Participants include the libraries in Cannon Falls, Kenyon, Lake City, Pine Island, Red Wing and Zumbrota plus the Goodhue school district.

"It was a very genuine partnership," Betcher said.

The agreement starts Jan. 1, 2014.

Danielle Killey

Danielle Killey covers local government for the South Washington County Bulletin. She has worked as a reporter for other Forum Communications newspapers since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.

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