Wheatland County adjusting agreement with Marigold Library System

·3 min read

Wheatland County is has signed off on amending its operational agreement with the Marigold Library System, which updates some of the language of the agreement and the organization’s levy rates.

The Marigold Library System wrote a letter to council requesting a decision on the matter by Sept. 30. Council reviewed the letter during the May 3 general meeting.

Michelle Toombs, CEO of the Marigold Library System, said as much as the library system has tried to keep changes to a minimum, it is time for an update to keep up with financial demands and modernize the language of the agreement.

“The Marigold Agreement has not changed a lot, although it has been revised recently. The last revision before that was in 2008 and it’s very much patterned on the libraries act,” said Toombs. “It is our obligation, when a county does not have its own library board, to represent and provide services to all residents of that county.”

The Marigold Agreement is a master agreement between the County and the Marigold Library System which has been in place since the library system’s establishment in 1981.

Currently, the Marigold Library System is the third largest library system in Alberta, serving approximately 348,000 people across 43 member municipalities.

The letter to council documented the revision to the agreement and discussed a request for review and consideration of adjusting to a new schedule for levy rates in 2023 and 2024.

“We have always calculated our levies, which is the revenue that we get from municipalities, on a per capita basis that is based on population,” said Toombs. “For the last three years, we have not increased our levies … but now we are seeing the pressures of inflation, fuel costs (and) utility costs … so we have asked for an 11 per cent increase in our levy rates.”

According to the new agreement, the “Ownership of Property,” section was changed to state books, periodicals and library materials transferred to a member library by Marigold will remain the property of that library or municipality, rather than the Marigold Board.

Another change was the reference to the Government of Alberta for current municipal populations. The reasoning for the change is due to the responsibility for reporting populations has shifted from the Municipal Affairs to Treasury and may be subject to future changes.

Language was also added to strengthen the importance of the municipal member collaborative and expanded service descriptions were added to clause 28 in the revised agreement (establishment and maintenance of a library system service for residents of parties within the agreement and which services are provided).

A statement was inserted to allow Marigold to negotiate a separate service contract with a governing entity that is not covered by the Libraries Act, such as a First Nations reserve or Redwood Meadows, found in clause 41.

A copy of the agreement is publicly available through the Wheatland County Council agenda for May 3 and any questions or concerns are able to be directed to the Marigold Library System.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting