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Beeville Mayor Brian Watson talks to Rosie Amaya (not pictured) about the Joe Barnhart Bee County Library budget. (Photo by Matthew Tamez)

The Joe Barnhart Bee County Library approached the Beeville City Council to ask for increased funding. In the previous two years, the library received $20,000. According to Rosie Amaya, the library director for the Joe Barnhart Bee County Library, the library usually received $85,000. Amaya explained that the library failed accreditation due to a lack of funding. The library managed to maintain accreditation by filling out a COVID-19 waiver.

Mayor Brian Watson recalled having a similar discussion in 2021.

“I remember distinctly that the accreditation was something that we wanted y’all to keep and we were looking for a specific figure from y’all that would allow that to happen,” said Watson.

Watson had seen the report and noted that the library missed accreditation by only a few thousand dollars.

To remain accredited, the library needs $494,269 from a multitude of sources. This money could come from the county, city, school district and from the Barnhart Foundation.

Ward 2 Councilman Benny Puente Jr. requested to see a budget from the library before he committed to making a funding decision for the library.

John Benson, the Beeville city manager, noted that the library would be receiving $85,000 from the city if the proposed Beeville budget is approved.

No action was taken as this was discussed during a public hearing regarding Beeville’s budget. Watson asked that this subject be made into an agenda item for the Sept. 13 City Council meeting.

“If you can figure it out,” said Watson. “What the specific dollar amount you need from the city with all your other funding sources to get you to accreditation.”

Watson seeks to guarantee that the library achieves accreditation.

In other business, the Beeville City Council discussed and took action on the following.

• Held a public hearing on the 2022 proposed tax rate. The new tax rate of $0.54329 per $100 will be on the agenda on Sept. 13 for adoption.

• Tabled discussion on the measurement and verification report by Performance Services Inc.

• Accepted the city of Beeville Health Insurance for fiscal year 2022-2023.

• Heard and accepted presentation on the compensation and benefit study by Bakertilly.

• Accepted the comprehensive water and wastewater rate study by Willdan Financial Services.

• Tabled action on a potential real estate purchase discussed during an executive session.

•mtamez@mysoutex.com•

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