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Sussex begins considering library take over

 Village of Sussex - Village trustees tonight appointed a committee that will advise the Village Board on how to take control of the Pauline Haass Library, if necessary.

Town of Lisbon officials have indicated they might not renew in 2014 a joint agreement with the village that provides the two municipalities share in the cost of the library.

Village President Greg Goetz reiterated before tonight's Village Board meeting that the village is prepared to assume responsibility for the operations of the library if the town pulls out of the agreement. 

Goetz said the number of key village officials assigned to the committee is in an indication of the importance of the group.

"I think this committee is important because it is going insure a quality library in the future for all of the residents of the village," he said.

Committee members include Goetz, Village Trustee Tim Dietrich and Library Board member Charlotte Coe.

Village Administrator Jeremy Smith and Library Director kathy Klager will serve as committee staff.

Village residents Sandy Schutz and Roger Johnson, who has served several terms on the Village Board and Plan Commission, will also serve on the committee.

Lisbon  Chairman Matt Gehrke said last summer  the Town Board might decide in February of this year whether to continue the agreement if negotiations between the two communities fail.

However, Gehrke said last week he may postpone the decision until after the April municipal elections when two vacancies on the Town Board will be filled. Gehrke said he has reservations about making the decision with only three members serving on the five member board.

Negotiations reached an impasse last year after Gehrke rejected a negotiating committee proposal because he did not feel it required  the village to pay a large enough share of the library budget..

Gehrke has argued that most of the library cost should be assumed by the village since village residents use the library more than town residents. Library costs are presently divided by the two communities based on their tax bases which are about equal in size.

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