Starting next July, Ellsworth Public Library patrons who are not city residents may have to pay $25 for the right to check out materials from the downtown facility.
It all depends on whether those patrons’ towns are funding the library out of their municipal budgets, and it’s part of a larger change the library is making as it tries to become less dependent on Ellsworth tax dollars.
Currently, the city-owned library — which receives 85 percent of its operating funds from Ellsworth — does not charge anyone, regardless of where they live, for a library card, unless they want to pay $1 to have the card laminated. Over the past few years, the annual amount it receives from Ellsworth has ranged from roughly $550,000 to $610,000, while the money it receives from 18 nearby Hancock County towns has increased from about $35,000 to $40,000.
A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....
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