Upper Milford Residents ask Supervisors to Keep Funding Library
Residents attend Oct. 20 Upper Milford Township Supervisors meeting to voice concerns about losing library access.
The house was surprisingly packed at last Thursday’s Upper Milford Board of Supervisors meeting.
It was supposed to be a light night -- there really wasn’t a whole lot on the Oct. 20 meeting agenda.
After the meeting Supervisor Daniel J. Mohr said he kept looking at the agenda and looking at the crowd of residents in the audience and trying to figure out why they were there.
The reason: Whisperings about Upper Milford Township residents possibly losing access to the Emmaus Public Library due to budget cuts.
There are flyers at the checkout counter at the library urging Upper Milford residents who value the library to get in touch with Board of Supervisors and ask them to include library funding in the 2012 township budget.
Library usage by Upper Milford residents has been a recurring topic during the supervisors meetings. A resident suggested that the East Penn School District offset the cost of library cards if most Upper Milford borrowers are school children checking out required school reading material.
The residents who spoke at last week’s meeting were there to voice their support for the library. Entire families, like John and Patricia Heid and their two grown daughters came to the meeting for the sole purpose of letting the supervisors know how they feel about the library.
Matriarch Patricia Heid got the ball rolling: “I’m here to show my support for the library. I’d pay $20 more a year in taxes to keep the library open.”
Her husband John spoke next, adding a bit of levity to what was clearly a serious topic. “I’m here to second everything that my wife just said so that I can go home safely.”
Their daughter Rebecca Heid referred to an earlier discussion about webcasting the supervisors meetings and said she was against that added expense, especially when cuts to services like the Emmaus Public Library are under consideration.
“Please do not cut those funds,” said Heid, who, serves on the East Penn School Board. “I use the library all the time. I totally agree that taxes compile on each other and I don’t want to see them go up, but I don’t want to see the library cut either.”
At the end of the meeting Mohr said that he has also been hearing from constituents about the library issue.
“I’m being bombarded by friends and neighbors,” Mohr said. “I just want to say it’s not a done deal. We are still working on the budget.”
The preliminary 2012 Upper Milford Township budget does have a line item for the library: $42,225. The township needs to provide the library a minimum of $5 per capital, ($36,460) or the library is at risk of losing federal funding, according to Emmaus Public Library Director Frances Larash.