FLYER - POA To Cut Library Funding

Tellico Village Library Funding

By: Pat Hunter

October 15, 2008

How better to drum up support then by circulating a flyer and using scare tactics? A flyer magically appeared in paper boxes in Tellico Village urging property owners to contact POA Board members because the "POA Finance Committee has proposed eliminating all library funding from its 5-year plan." The POA was to meet Wednesday to discuss the budget. More to come about this subject.

The proposed site for the new Tellico Village Library will be on Irene Lane, within a stone's throw of the Community Church. Some property owners are saying that the Tellico Village Public Library currently located off Ritchey Rd. is not a Village amenity. Try explaining that to the Friends of the Tellico Village Library, a Tennessee Non-Profit Corporation and it's purpose is to support and promote the use, services, and facilities of the Tellico Village Library.

Building permits purportedly have dropped and POA fees continue to go up and many that live in the Village are retirees from the auto industry. The auto industry is in serious trouble. Some retirees got big retirement packages and invested their monies in stocks and bonds, which are taking a nose dive. It sounds like this isn't the best of times for the POA, businesses, charities or for anyone else including Tellico Village residents.  

In past years, Loudon County entered into interlocal agreements with Lenoir City and Loudon City, both governmental entities. Lenoir City entered into an agreement to build a new library after a fire destroyed the old location. Loudon City agreed to help pay the cost to move and renovate the Loudon City Library from its cramped old location to a temporary location at the old health department.

Lenoir and Loudon cities are both incorporated unlike Tellico Village, who chose not to incorporate. Both cities have revenues streams generated from property taxes unlike non-profits that are at the mercy of entities like the POA Board of Directors, which may change their minds.  

It was 7th District Commissioner Don Miller, Tellico Village resident, who delayed a critical commission vote by objecting to move the Loudon City Library from the county building location to temporary quarters at old health department building because he was concerned about accountability of taxpayer dollars!

The Loudon City Library expenses were under $70,000 and Loudon City paid their share of renovations, not $600,000, as Miller proposes with the library in his district. The total cost of the new Tellico Village Library building is estimated at about $1 Million (est.). 

Commissioner Don Miller has promoted the Tellico Village Library and said that he would ask for funding in the near future. Miller serves on the Loudon County Budget Committee and he has been very generous to charities from the Village. Charity begins at home. Let the politicians dig into their own pocketbooks and give to their favorite charity as other people do. The use of taxpayer dollars to subsidize the operations of non-profits must be questioned. Is this a way for a politician to curry favor with voters in his or her district?

Back to the TV flyer, did scare tactics work? More to follow.