TREMONT — Selectmen agreed Monday to increase the budget for the Bass Harbor Memorial Library so the facility can better serve the community.
Two members of the library’s board of trustees, Peter Madeira and Susan Edson, attended the regular selectmen’s meeting to make their case for adding another $8,650 for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.
Madeira said $8,000 of the money would be used to pay for extra hours for a librarian. This would allow the library to open for 28 hours each week instead of for 20 hours, he said. The need to provide greater access to the library came from a community survey the board conducted last year.
The remaining $650 would cover an annual subscription for downloadable books. Making this service accessible to patrons is something many libraries must offer in order to survive, Madeira said.
The $8,650 would push the library’s request for town funds to almost $53,000.
Selectmen voted 3-0 to add the extra money to the proposed budget. Voters will have the final say at the annual town meeting in May.
Interim Town Manager Dana Reed noted that, in the past, the proposed budget also would go through the town’s warrant committee for their recommendations. However, at this time, that committee is shorthanded and does not have the quorum necessary for them to meet, he added. Four more members are needed to reach a quorum of seven.
Selectmen also gave the nod to allowing the Southwest Harbor-Tremont Chamber of Commerce to place seasonal banners on utility poles in along roads in the villages of Bass Harbor and Bernard. From Long Hill in Southwest Harbor, the banners would adorn poles along Harbor Drive to the ferry terminal in Bass Harbor and along the Tremont and Bernard roads to Thurston’s Lobster Pound.
There is no cost to the town, Reed said. The company owning the utility poles requires the town to approve before allowing the installation of banners and other items.