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Emmaus Public Library Director Agrees to Evaluate Library Usage by Township Residents

Frances Larash responds to a resident's request, prompted by Upper Milford budget deliberations this past winter.

Emmaus Public Library Director Frances Larash attended the Upper Milford supervisors meeting on May 5 to report on overall library usage in 2010.

At the close of Larash’s report, Phil Casey of Main Road East asked Larash if she could report back to the supervisors prior to the next year’s budget decisions regarding the number of Upper Milford residents who use the Emmaus Public Library. Larash agreed to research the information for the supervisors.

During a supervisor's meeting this winter, Upper Milford’s annual donation in the township budget for the public library caused considerable debate.

In addition to funding from the state, the library gets funding from three municipalities: Emmaus and Macungie boroughs, and Upper Milford.

Originally, the library had asked Upper Milford for $46,776 for 2011. However, the supervisors were dealing with the first tax increase in more than 30 years and did not believe the township could afford that much.

In November, the supervisors approved a tentative budget that cut the allocation to the library to $30,000. But they increased the allocation to $35,000 just before the final budget vote in December.

During her report on May 5, Larash said the library had 15,385 regular borrowers during 2010. However, she said, the number of borrowers doesn’t reflect the total number of people who used the library.

For example, 2,300 people, including those in attendance at 119 children’s programs, came to the library for its programs during 2010.

Larash said the library received $72,366 from the state for 2010, which was a $32,000 reduction from the previous year.

In other business on May 5, Supervisors Chairman Steven Ackerman said bids are being sought for work on East Macungie Road. Due to a partial collapse of a culvert running under the road in October 2010, a low point in the road has since been reduced to one lane, with stop signs in both directions.

Ackerman said bids will be opened on May 31. The project is expected to be completed by August 5, Ackerman said, though an extension on the contract for the work could be granted.

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