A brand new 1.7 million dollar library in Twiggs County is set to close Tuesday night due to lack of funds. Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal joined local officials in cutting the ribbon just two weeks ago. The library was built with mostly state money. Its operating budget is funded locally.
There are three things that a community needs to be successful: good schools, a functional local government and a library. That’s according to Billy Humphries, acting chairman of the Twiggs County library’s board of trustees.
Twiggs is not doing so well on at least two of those fronts, he said in a recent interview with GPB. The new library needs about $48,000 each year to stay open. "The county commission has refused to pay the bill that we submitted in September and so we’re just out of money."
That means the library will close at 7:00pm Tuesday and won’t reopen.
Humphries calls the commission dysfunctional. They're scheduled to meet at 7:00pm on Tuesday but county commission chairman Kenneth Fowler says library funding is not on the agenda.
"The state of Georgia gave us this library you know, and we won’t appropriate the funds to operate it, that’s a shame" he said Monday.
Fowler says he’d like to fund the library but he doesn't have the votes.
Jasmine Clay of Jeffersonville uses the library religiously. She’s a student at an online university and works part time at a nursing home. "I come here often to do my work online. I have to do my classes every 2 to 3 days out of the week. Normally I used to go to Macon or Dublin to use the library." But with this new library closer to home, Clay says she can get in quickly and get to work. That is, until Tuesday night.