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On Tuesday, August 23, Budget Officer Sergio Cruz presented funding proposals for the Museum of South Texas History and the Hidalgo County Library System during the county's third Budget Workshop following the Commissioners Court meeting.
Since 2012, Hidalgo County has provided $360,000 to the Museum of South Texas History for operational support with an additional $100,000 for the renovation of the original 1910 Hidalgo County Jail. The additional funding, labeled "special projects," was set to expire in 2016.
"The Department of Budget & Management is proposing to continue funding at the current $460,000 level to be used in its entirety for operational support," Cruz said. "This recommendation will provide a 27.7 percent increase in operational support and constitutes 26.9 percent of MOSTH's total income."
MOSTH had requested $660,000 to hire additional staff and provide cost-of-living adjustments for museum staff.
The Budget and Management Department recommended increasing funding to The Hidalgo County Library System to cover the expense of establishing on e-library.
"Hidalgo County has been providing the HCLS with an annual contribution since the year 2000," Cruz said, adding that the county has provided $235,716 in annual funding to the library system for the past five years.
"For 2017, the HCLS has formally requested Hidalgo County's support for the establishment of a County Electronic Library. This initial funding will be used for the purchase of an e-book collection of about 40,000 titles that will be competitive with neighboring collections," Cruz said.
The recommendation is for a one-time funding of $400,000 to establish the e-library in addition to the $237,138 annual funding to the support the library system.