The Etna Green Town Council approved a contract Tuesday with the Bourbon Public Library to pay for library cards for town residents.
Library Director Nicholas Treber said the contract asked that funds be set aside for up to 50 library cards to be paid by the town. He set the rate of $55 per card in the contract, but he said he can’t determine the exact fee library cards will be next year until March.
Etna Township discontinued the service of free library cards to township residents effective Jan. 1.
“Etna Township has consulted with the Indiana Township Association Inc. It is the responsibility of the trustee to negotiate a contract for a service, then the township board approves the expense. In this case, there is no contract the current trustee has with the library. A township trustee may not sign any contract that goes beyond their term of office. Townships are not obligated to a library unless, of course, it is township owned,” Etna Trustee Rita Anglin said in her e-mail to Treber Jan. 18 that stated the service was being discontinued.
The town initially approved a one-year contract March 11, which would cover Etna Green residents. Etna Green United Methodist Church and Church of Christ paid for library cards for Etna Township residents outside of Etna Green.
Treber said this past year, about 45 families in Etna Township signed up for cards, “which is lower than normal and probably due to the coronavirus and issues.” Nineteen of the 45 families were from within Etna Green. He said he believed the average family had 75 items checked out from the library in print or digitally.
Councilman Jason Hanes said the issue caused “quite a stir this past year and it finally smoothed out and it needs to stay that way.” Council President Keith Claassen said the library cards are available to anyone and not only to certain people.
Hanes said, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, the library cards were needed as he knows of some families that use the Bourbon library for eLearning purposes. Claassen said he thought it was important to make the cards available.
Councilwoman Susan Klinefelter asked if paying for the cards would raise taxes. Claassen said it would not. When the council signed the first one-year contract, the funds to pay for the cards, he believed, came out of the Economic Development Income Tax fund.
Klinefelter voiced some concern about paying for the cards. She said several people told her they didn’t understand the situation and said they could afford the $55 fee for the library cards.
Hanes said the people that need the help to pay for the library cards outweigh the people that don’t.
In other news, the town council:
• Tabled discussions on generators needed at the sewer treatment plant and the parks building.
Barry Baker, water and electric superintendent, had received quotes from Midwest Generator Solutions, Mooresville. The council asked Baker to get more quotes. None were received by the council meeting. Hanes suggested the council look into grants to help pay for the generators.
• Talked about a Christmas lighting contest.
Klinefelter and Clerk-Treasurer Patti Cook agreed to be judges. It was suggested judging would be between Dec. 21 and 23.
Gift cards to Etna Cafe will be awarded. First place would be $20; second and third prize will be $10. Cook said she spoke with Etna Cafe and was told if they got the gift cards, Etna Cafe would match them.
• Hanes suggested an ordinance be written in regards to where trash cans be put.
He said the issue comes when people have the cans out in front of their residence continually. He said he wanted something in place across the board to say what residents needed to do with their cans, so if the town has an issue, they can refer back to something.
Claassen suggested Hanes write something up.