The Del Webb Library at Indian Land is facing a critical funding shortage, which could cause a delay in the library's opening.
The library board applied for a $200,000 grant from the South Carolina Competitive Grants Fund managed by the State Budget Control Board, but found out last week that they did not receive it. That $200,000 was needed for furnishings for the new library, currently under construction on Hwy. 521 near Sun City Carolina Lakes.
Without that $200,000, Lancaster County library director Richard Band said the library's opening could be pushed back from its planned November opening.
"I think it could possibly be delayed, just for a month or two. We're not going to have a new building to stay vacant for long, though," Band said. "We'll just see what we can do. I'm pretty optimistic that we'll come up with some money somewhere."
Band said that even $100,000 would get the library ready for its scheduled opening day. It would mean opening with less furniture and computers than expected, Band added.
Raising $100,000 before fall is a reasonable goal, Band added. He said he hopes donors will come forward to help, but he's also asking Lancaster County to chip in.
Grants that were funded by the Budget Control Board included county festivals, grants for water system upgrades, and renovations to city and county buildings. Anderson County and the City of Greenville seemed to get the "lion's share" of funding, Band said, including grants awarded for their local festivals - $100,000 to Anderson County for its balloon festival and $150,000 to Greenville for assistance in hosting the 2008 Sanction USA Cycling Professional Championships. The Arts Council of Rock Hill and York County received $8,500 for a Blues Festival and $10,000 for Christmasville. A $40,000 grant went to York County for the Catawba River Project.
In all, $10 million was awarded from the grant program, and approximately $8 million remains in the fund.
"There didn't seem to be much rhyme or reason," Band said. "[The grants funded] are popular in their own counties but not what you'd call critical. We thought ours was critical. That didn't seem to matter."
Library Board Chairwoman Karen Paulson said she was "baffled" when they learned the grant was not funded.