UNION COUNTY, Ark. (KTVE/KARD)–The Barton Library Board of Directors made a request to equalize the county’s library that would increase millage for property located outside El Dorado city limits. This proposal was approved by the Union County Quorum Court to place on the ballot for General Elections earlier this month. The proposal failed to pass, leaving residents concerned for the future of Union County’s Public Library System.

“It’s a part of the town and I hope it never goes out. I hope it keeps its light burning and benefits the city,” explains Union County resident Donald Putman.

The proposal fell short on the ballot leaving the multi-location library system in the same place it started at.

“Our goal with the increase in the mileage was to do more at all of the branches. We have Smackover, Norphlet, Junction City, Strong and Huttig. I only have high speed here in El Dorado. I’d like to get it into all of the branches in Union County. You can hit our parking lot, just drive through and download a movie if we’ve got that kind of speed. We were also looking to extend our hours and increase our acquisitions budget for each branch as well but that’s not going to happen…,” explains Executive Director of the Union County Public Library Systems, Michael O’Connell.

O’Connell said a major turning point for voters was the concern for the current standing of the nation’s economy.

“People’s concern over inflation and the general economy not doing well and just trying to preserve what they have. We will have to see where the economy is in two years and see where we are in two years. We are going to continue to serve the people of Union County like we have for the last 107 years. We are going to do it for another 107 going forward.”