One of 8 new libraries being built in Fulton County
ATLANTA -- As Fulton County breaks ground on the first of eight new libraries planned, there is still no decision on where an estimated $8 million a year will come to staff them.
In 2005, voters approved borrowing $275 million to build and renovate libraries.
It is a two phase project. Phase one includes constructing eight new libraries and two major renovations. Phase two covers 23 renovations and the building of a brand new central library downtown.
County Commissioner Rob Pitts calls the library issue his "baby" and said he has no doubts about finding the money for staff and maintenance.
"This is not new. We knew we'd need to find roughly $8 million a year for staffing from day one. It's just that we're at the point now where we need to have serious conversations," said Pitts.
Keep in mind Pitts and other commissioners already have to cut an estimated $100 million from the 2014 budget.
Another traditional funding source is off limits. By law, they can't raise property taxes for two years.
Still, Pitts insists voters wanted more libraries and updated libraries and the county will oblige.
"The libraries that are complete and ready to open will open on time, and they will be staffed and they will be maintained. That's a promise we made to the people and that's a promise we're going to keep," said Pitts.
The first new library, in Wolf Creed, is slated for completion in 2014.