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Tuesday, December 11 , 2018, 10:26 pm | Fair 48º

 
 
 
 

Carpinteria, Guadalupe Libraries to Benefit From One-Time County Funding

Smaller libraries in the county’s library system will be able to maintain their operating hours and programs thanks to one-time funding from the general fund, while the city of Goleta moves forward with plans to form its own municipal library system, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors were told Tuesday.​

Supervisors approved staff’s recommendation to allocate $162,000 to the cities of Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Lompoc for the continued operation of libraries in those zones. Library services are provided within three geographical zones of the county, and there a number of libraries in each zone. 

Zone 1 includes Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria, Buellton and Solvang; Zone 2 includes Lompoc and Vandenberg Village libaries; and Santa Maria falls into Zone 3, along with the Cuyama, Guadalupe, Los Alamos and Orcutt libraries.

The county contracts with Santa Maria, Lompoc and Santa Barbara for those cities to operate their respective city libraries, but also other libraries throughout the incorporated and unincorporated areas.

Carpinteria Library will get $75,000, which will maintain the status quo at the facility, and Guadalupe will get $15,000 to maintain services and cover rent at the facility through June 2018.

Another $15,000 of the one-time funding will be spilt equally between the Montecito, Solvang and Buellton branches to help with efficiency improvement with reduced staff time through the purchase of new printers/copiers/scanners for the sites.

The Santa Maria Public Library is slated to receive about $10,000 of the funding that will be used to purchase two self-checkout machines, which is also expected to help with efficiency and reduce staff time.

It was discovered during county budget hearings that Goleta had been receiving the lion’s share of the county’s per capita funding for libraries, almost 80 percent, while paying the least for services.

At that time, the Board of Supervisors also hired a consultant to analyze whether the county should change how it funds the library system. Since then, Goleta decided to take over management of its branch library.

Goleta and Santa Barbara turned down county one-time funding for their libraries, county staff said. 

Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Joan Hartmann said there seemed to be an inequity in funding with the one-time monies and voiced concern that the county being asked to fund the system would give incentives for cities to not fund their libraries.

Currently, Carpinteria only contributes 15 percent of its city library budget, while Buellton and Solvang contribute more than 50 percent.

“I also hopes it’s not a trend and just a one-time that we are going through,” added Supervisor Janet Wolf. “I just hope we don’t go down that road again.”

Supes uphold Nomad Village Mobilehome Park rent increase decision

With a 5-0 vote Tuesday, the supervisors also upheld a decision that Santa Barbara’s Nomad Village Mobilehome Park owners could increase rent at the 150-space park and homeowners there are responsible for attorney fees associated with appealing the increase.

The county’s mobilehome rent control ordinance allows an arbitration process for rent-control disputes whenever the proposed rent increase exceeds 75 percent of the Consumer Price Index, and last year in March, Nomad Village residents were informed their rent would increase effective effective July 1, 2016, by 75 percent of the CPI, in addition to a CPI-based increase. 

The increase amounted to $108.61 per space, per month, with $79.30 of that to be temporary. 

Homeowners in the park contested and the case went to arbitration, with the arbitrator finding residents would have to pay the increase, which in part is being sought for capital improvements made at the park, as well as attorney fees. Those fees amount to $56.30 monthly.

The supervisors found the arbitrator didn’t abuse their discretion in making the rulings instituting the rent increase and recovery of attorney fees. All of the arbitrator’s judgments are retroactive to July 1, 2016.

Park owners also increased space rent at the mobile home park in 2011, which homeowners also contested.

Noozhawk contributing writer April Charlton can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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