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Meade County approves funding for local agencies

August 1, 2018

STURGIS — The Meade County Commission Wednesday approved funding requests of $235,000 for local agencies that requested money in the coming year.

The county categorizes these agencies as Non-County Funding for budgeting purposes. They include everything from the Faith Senior Citizen’s Center to the Meade County Firefighter’s Association.

After much discussion, the county commission on Wednesday approved setting funding at the same levels as last year with the exception of South Dakota State University Extension which pays for Jenny Voigt’s salary and the operations expenses to run the 4-H program, and the South Dakota Department of Health which oversees the county health nurse program.

They also approved an increase for the Sturgis Public Library putting its funding at $27,850 for the 2019 fiscal year.

The county has a tax levy for libraries. In 2019, the levy is expected to generate $30,572.

Funding for the Piedmont Valley Library will remain the same at $15,000 and the Faith Library at $9,000.

Megan Eggers is the new librarian at the Piedmont Valley Library. Eggers began in April and has been working with volunteers on a remodel at the library. New shelves and carpet were added.

“We have started some new programs to better serve the residents of Meade County,” she said.

One of the programs is a new yoga class on Mondays at the library. She said they also are working on providing nutritional classes for children.

The summer reading program, titled The Piedmont Library Rocks, has been quite successful, she said. At a program on geology on July 19 at the library, there were 77 youth in attendance.

She told the commission that the library now has a satellite location at Summerset City Hall. Shelving has been added and a small number of books are available. She said more books would be provided as they become available.

Money the Piedmont Valley Library gets from the county goes to pay salary for staff and also for books and DVDs to stock the library.

“We do offer free library cards to everyone in the county,” she said.

The same is true with the Sturgis Public Library. Residents of the county can get a library card for free, and there is a satellite library location in Union Center.

“We recently updated the Union Center Library. We hauled a bunch of books out and cleaned up what was there. We’re pleased to finally get that taken care of,” said Sturgis Public Library Director Julie Moore Peterson.

Meade County Commission member Ted Seaman asked what percentage of library users are county residents.

Peterson said historically those who live in the county have been about one-third of the Sturgis Public Library’s patrons.

Peterson said the Sturgis Public Library is coming off a great year having co-sponsored the Big Read on the Vietnam War.

“We reached thousands of people in the area and we were really pleased with that,” she said.

And, she announced that on Oct. 19, they will host Craig Johnson, author of the best-selling “Longmire” series. He will show an episode of Longmire and speak at the Sturgis Community Center.

Local author Paul Higbee will be featured at the library in November, she said.

Both the Sturgis Public Library and the Piedmont Valley Library are part of the Black Hills Library Consortium.

The Consortium allows patrons access to all the materials available in any of the member libraries. Anyone can request materials and they will be delivered to the library of their choice. Peterson said being a member of the Consortium has been great.

“I’m really pleased with how the whole consortium system is working,” she said.

Members of the Consortium include Custer County Library, Main Branch, Custer County Library, Hermosa Branch, Deadwood Public Library, Edgemont Public Library, Grace Balloch Memorial Library, Keystone Town Library, Piedmont Valley Library, Rapid City Public Library, Sturgis Public Library, Wall Community Library and Whitewood Public Library.

Following are the agencies and funding approved by the Meade County Commission Wednesday:

Black Hills Council of Local Governments, $6,965; Elk Creek Conservation District, $20,000; Faith Senior Center, $1,000; Meade Count Fair Association, $8,500; Meade County Firefighters Association, $30,920; Meade County Senior Center (Sturgis), $1,000; Piedmont Senior Center, $1,000; South Dakota Department of Health, $32,644; SDSU (4-H), $46,616; Sturgis Economic Development Corp., $25,000; Tri-County Conservation District, $10,000; Faith Public Library, $9,000; Piedmont Valley Library, $15,000; Sturgis Public Library, $27,850.

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