PCPL board accepts capital projects fund plan

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Putnam County Public Library board was presented the annual capital projects fund plan Wednesday during a public hearing.

Library director Alice Greenburg told board members this plan is similar to previous years. It shows the current annual uncertified budget, number of employees, sources and estimates of revenue and proposed use of capital project funds.

The 2010 intended use of funds are planned construction, repair and maintenance of the building at $42,000; emergency allocation of $10,000; purchase or lease, repair and maintenance of equipment at $26,400; purchase, lease repair and maintenance of computer hardware and software at $130,000; and allocation for future projects at $105,618.

Proposals for 2011 and 2012 were included, but it goes before the board each year. All board members approved the plan, which will now go before the Putnam County Council in May. Following approval from council, the plan will move to the Department of Local Finance for final approval.

The library serves 12 out of 13 townships in the county with a population of 34,311. It is governed by a seven-member board, which is appointed by county commissioners, county council, Greencastle school board and school board presidents of the three other county school corporations.

It owns no other real property other than the main library. However, parking is increasingly difficult in the current lot with 27 spaces, states the proposed plan. To increase parking space, the library has begun saving money in the event additional property becomes available.

The annual statistics show 73,522 print volumes, 208 periodical titles, 6,332 videos and DVD titles and 4,656 audiotapes and CD titles in the library. In 2008, circulation of those materials was 259,345.

During the regular meeting Wednesday, the board learned it has 68 percent of the budget left.

"You wanted at least 66 percent left," Mark Hammer, CPA, told the board.

Since the library has received both 2008 property and excise tax distributions along with money each month from the state, its budget is seeing more green.

"We are not comparing apples with apples," Hammer said.

But it certainly helps the library's cash flow.

In other business:

* Public library standards may be changing soon. It is something that has not been done since 1997. Several places are being looked at including a three-tier rating system -- regular, enhanced and exceptional standards. A draft will be presented at the end of May with a review in June and then adopted.

"We are in pretty good shape," Greenburg told the board. "We can meet the standards, if they are not too high."

The library is a class B, which means it serves 10,000 to 39,999 people.

* PCPL will host another read off fines program for children 18 years or younger. The board agreed to host a food for fines program for adults. The idea is $1 will be taken off late fees for each item brought in. All food or non-perishable items will be donated to local food pantries.

* Book circulation is up by 11 percent, reported Greenburg. The bookmobile is going strong with more number of stops and circulation up a lot. Internet is up by 23 percent and interlibrary loans on a steady climb.

* The library passed its fire inspection.

"We didn't even have to change a battery," noted Greenburg.

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