Kenai Council members removed the fee for library cards last Wednesday night. Administrators had proposed a $20 fee for library users who live outside city limits.
Councilman Terry Bookey said libraries shouldn’t be off-limits for low-income families.
Cm. Bookey: “I think the library is one of those essential government services that is there for folks who maybe aren’t as fortunate as others, and they can go and still have access to education and to literature, that maybe $20 (which is the proposed fee) is enough to push them away from that.”
Councilman Bryan Gabriel said 65 percent of library users live outside the City and don’t support the facility through property taxes…
Cm. Gabriel: “The cost, that $20 annual fee, is a little over $1.50 a month for that service, so I didn’t think it would be a barrier to them, and I certainly would be open to hardship cases for people that couldn’t afford that, but it was just a way I felt to maybe give the 65 percent that are non-residents a sort of sense of ownership, to buy-in to the library.”
The fee was removed Wednesday night.