While the commissioners make no secret that they do have the funds needed to build the library, their concern in making their decision was having the money to operate the library after it was built. Salaries, equipment, power bills, water bills, books, insurance, etc., add up in a hurry.
There are some concerns that the commissioners passed up the opportunity to get a reported $2 million in state funds to help with the construction. Yet, their decision was based on logic and sound economics.
The recent decision of the Board of Commissioners reminded me of a tough decision a now-deceased friend of mine had to make a few years ago. For this column, I will call my friend Sara.
A huge development was being built on property adjoining her house and two acres of land. She was 70-plus years old and had lived in her house for decades.
The developers wanted her property so they would have more road frontage. They made her a fairly generous offer.
Sara’s house was small, with just four rooms and one bath. The paint was beginning to peel and it would soon need a new roof. Yet, she declined the developer’s offer.
Then, she was offered more money. Again, she refused.
The third offer really got her attention. In an even swap, she could get a house in the development valued at just less than $250,000.
She pondered that offer for days. Never had she dreamed she might have a $250,000 house. Naturally, Sara wanted it.
But living on Social Security plus a little extra money she made here and there, she knew she could not afford it. The taxes, homeowner dues, insurance, power bills, etc. were totally out of her reach.
Although she had little education, she had a head full of common sense. She wisely declined the swap and lived the remainder of her life in her very small house.
Though they involve much less money, you and I make similar decisions. How many times have you seen an offer to get the latest upgraded cell phone absolutely free? Just dial the number on your TV screen and the phone is yours. The rub is that while you pay nothing for the phone you pay dearly for service.
There are several companies that will install a totally new alarm system in your home for free. Like the free telephone, the security system is free but the service is not.
I love libraries and reading good books. They have been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember.
There are probably few people who use the local library more than I do. Currently, I am reading James Patterson’s “Alex Cross” series. Too often, I am still reading long after midnight.
Sometimes when I know I will be driving alone for several hours, I go by the library and get an audio book to listen to while I drive. It makes the trip seem much shorter.
For several days last week I was at the library in Canton using a computer. My own computer had been taken down because of work I was having done at my house.
Even with people reading from their Kindles, etc., R.T. Jones Library, only one of the public libraries that are a part of the Sequoyah Regional Library System, is a busy place.
I was reminded of that when I wanted to check out two recently published books. Although the libraries have purchased multiple copies, they were all checked out. I put my name on a waiting list.
Would you believe that with so many copies available, my name was added below the names of more than 40 other people who signed up for the books before I did?
Naturally the library board, the staff and many people in the Free Home Community are disappointed about the building of their library being delayed.
I am disappointed, too. A library in Waleska is somewhere on the list of future libraries to be built. Delaying building a library in Free Home means Waleska and others on the list will have a longer wait.
But again, I applaud the Board of Commissioners for their decision. Using sound logic and common sense, they did not bite off more than they and the taxpayers they represent can chew.
Marguerite Cline is the former mayor of Waleska.