Library board approves 2021 draft budgets, hears Town Halloween plan

By Spencer Seymour, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The St. Marys Public Library board held their monthly meeting last Thursday and among the most important outcomes was the board’s approval of their 2021 draft budget.

The approved draft budget will now be sent to Town of St. Marys staff to be presented to Town Council for their consideration. The draft budget for the adult learning center was also approved by the library board, which did see more notable changes to the library’s budget. One of these changes was a request for a $1,500 funding increase from Stratford to help cover the costs of expanded adult learning services in the city. Earlier this year, the St. Marys adult learning center increased their presence in Stratford from two days to three days, and have expanded their hours of service, thus prompting the request for more funding. Since funding for the St. Marys adult learning center started being received from Stratford, the amount given out has not increased.

Town Councillor Robert Edney also spoke to the library board along with Library Service Coordinator regarding what the Town has planned for Halloween. The feasibility of trick-or-treating this year is in doubt due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the risk that a high volume of people going door-to-door would pose. Huron Perth Public Health even suggested back in September that families begin looking at alternatives to the tradition Halloween celebrations. However, according to the Councillor, the Town does have some ideas to mitigate the losses. The idea includes a virtual and interactive magic show, and departments including the library will give away a “golden ticket” to fill one of the participant slots during the show. Edney also told the board that there will also be a presentation of local kids and their Halloween costumes during the event. According to Edney, photos for this presentation can be submitted or taken at a future drive-thru-style event, at which kids can briefly exit their family’s vehicle and receive a bag of candy and have their photo taken.

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