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Washoe County Library Closures Could Cost $450,000

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Plans to close two public libraries could leave Washoe County paying a fine much larger than that of a late return.

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that county agencies could have to pay up to $450,000 for breaking grant contracts that require the libraries to stay open many more years.

The Washoe County School District built the Verdi Community Library and Nature Center using $200,000 in grant money from the Nevada Department of Wildlife and agreed to keep it open until 2042. If the library were to close, the Wildlife Department is entitled to that money back.

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The Duncan/Traner Library was built using $250,000 in grant money from Reno and is contractually obligated to stay open until 2097.

Library System Director Arnie Maurins is pursuing plans to close the libraries to the public by the end of 2015.