WALLA WALLA - Library hours will most likely not be cut next year due to a contract agreement approved this month between the city and the Walla Walla County Rural Library District.
Earlier this year, city officials had counted on renewing their contract with the Library District and receiving $180,000 each year for the next two years.
But early this year, the district notified the city it wanted to reduce the yearly reimbursement from $180,000 to $125,000.
The district pays the city to provide services to surrounding country residents who hold city library cards.
In the months that ensued, the two entities have struggled to work out a reimbursement agreement.
And for the first time, the 2011 contract will include bringing in a third-party firm to study and recommend a fair formula for determining future reimbursements, as well as looking at the possibility of forming a single larger regional library district that could cover the entire county.
The cost of that study will be paid for by the WALNET Consortium, which includes the Walla Walla Public Library, the Rural Library District and the Walla Walla Community College library.
Alfred Diaz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8325.