County transferring ownership, management of Belt Library to Town of Belt

Cascade County Commissioners voted July 8 to transfer management and ownership of the Belt Library to the Town of Belt.

The county currently owns the library, its contents, the property it sits on and employs the lead and substitute librarian.

Commissioners voted Tuesday to approve an interlocal agreement, quit claim deed and bill of sale.

The Town of Belt approved the interlocal agreement on July 1 that has the town assume full operations, ownership, maintenance and administration of the Belt Library. The agreement goes into effect July 17.

The lead librarian and substitute librarian are both part-time county employees with the lead librarian working enough hours to qualify for full benefits, including county health insurance, according to the county.

The Belt mayor told the county that the town isn’t required to competitively advertise the position so the lead librarian can complete an application so the information will be on file and the town can provide health insurance through the Montana Municipal Interlocal Authority and the librarian’s contributions to the Montana Public Employees Retirement System will remain intact, according to the county.

The county has been meeting with Belt officials since February regarding the proposal for the town to assume management of the library.

Under the interlocal agreement, the library will be open to all county residents and the County Commission can appoint two members to the library’s board of trustees.

The county will continue to assess the rural mills for libraries and provide $51,000 to the Town of Belt in two payments for operating and maintaining the library.

The county is selling the land, building and its contents to the town for $1 and the agreement includes provisions that should the town discontinue the library, ownership reverts to the county.