Tuesday, July 4, 2017

[Stanislaus County] Library system is a ‘gem’ but its future is uncertain, grand jury finds

The Stanislaus County Library is a “real gem” for the community, but uncertain funding could put it at risk.
That was one of the findings in the 2016-2017 Stanislaus County Civil Grand Jury report. Jurors decided to review the library system, though no complaints about it were received.
Overall, the grand jury found a lot to like about the library, including the services it offers that range from help with passports to a home delivery system for material that brings them to people who can’t get to a branch.
At the same time, however, the library is victim to aging facilities and reliant upon a sales tax that must be passed occasionally to keep it going.
Jurors recommended that “a more stable source of funding be found for the Stanislaus County Library. A concerted effort needs to be undertaken to explore additional revenue streams.”
In response to a complaint from a citizen, the grand jury looked into a 1 percent tax collected by the city of Oakdale on behalf of the Oakdale Irrigation District. Jurors found that though residents paid the tax, “there was no information readily available to the City of Oakdale taxpayers explaining where the assessed 1 percent tax went and what if any services OID provided.”
Jurors asked the city and OID officials to work to make that information more readily available.
In a part of the report issued earlier this year, the grand jury also found that the Oakdale Irrigation District for many years has violated state and federal law by failing to balance its voting districts. Jurors called for the district to take immediate action.
July 2, 2017
Modesto Bee
By Patty Guerra

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