Money problems have forced Harlem City Council members to ask for help from anyone with a hammer.
At a recent city council meeting, Mayor John Bentley said the city would not be given the $50,000 it had planned to use to renovate the interior of the city's library.
The $50,000 was to come from $1 million the Columbia County Library Board expected to receive, Bentley said.
The board received $500,000 instead. Phase I added a conference room to the library. The $50,000 was for the second phase of the library project.
Dr. Jefferson Hardin, president of the library board, said the board was recently given $500,000 by Columbia County native Jabez S. Hardin - no relation to Dr. Hardin - which was to be used only for the main county library.
Hardin said some accounting confusion related to the wire transfer of the $500,000 made it appear that there was $527,000.
Hardin said he called Harlem and pledged the extra $27,000 toward the city's library. It was then discovered that the $27,000 was not available, Hardin said.
The minutes from an Aug. 13 Harlem city council meeting show that Hardin promised to put together a "sizable donation" toward Phase II. Hardin said he doesn't know anything about the $50,000 Bentley talked about.
Hardin said he could see the board matching $10,000, provided Harlem can raise it first. He said the board has already put $13,000 into the Harlem library and would like to see residents of Harlem contribute.
"I'm reluctant to have the board put any more money into it because I wonder when the businesses and citizens of Harlem are going to step up to the plate," Hardin said.
Bentley said there is enough money to buy the supplies for the interior renovation, butvolunteers are needed for the labor, which includes painting, laying carpet and some carpentry.
"We have a lot of people out there with carpentry experience," Bentley said. "I'm hoping we can get some community involvement."
The library is operational, but walls need plastering and bonding tape is pulling loose, Bentley said.
Bentley said he was hoping to begin Phase II at the beginning of the year but now has no idea when the renovation will begin.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.