After several months of discussions and debate, the Oro Valley Town Council voted unanimously on March 7 to approve an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with Pima County to transfer the Oro Valley Public Library from affiliate status to branch status.
With the transfer, Pima County will assume the $600,000 paid by Oro Valley each year in operational costs.
Library director Jane Peterson presented several perks to come with the new IGA. Under branch status, the County will offer extended hours and new public computers, while maintaining the unique programs currently offered by the library. The library’s Booke Shop will remain the same square footage, and meeting room policies will remain the same.
Books purchased by the Friends of Oro Valley, along with special collections books unique to Oro Valley will circulate the other 26 branches of Pima County but will be returned.
Current employees of the library will remain, with the town paying Pima County $50,000 to assume employee’s accrued benefits.
As has been a theme, a variety of viewpoints were heard from the public, with some calling for a postponement of a vote.
Oro Valley resident Bill Adler said a phone survey should be taken to determine if town residents are willing to pay more to keep the library as an affiliate.
Martha Briggs, President of the Friends of the Oro Valley Public Library, said a council vote, regardless of the outcome, should come sooner rather than later since the issue has carried a lot of weight on the Friends, Town staff, and Town Council over the months.
The IGA will go into effect on July 1, and continue an interim period until Jan. 1, 2013 to help the transition be more seamless.
Mayor Satish Hiremath said he is confident the good relationship between Pima County and Oro Valley will continue under the IGA.
An amendment was made by council to reduce the 50-year IGA to 25 years, with a renewal option available at the end of that period. Either party can terminate the IGA with six months notice.