By Rosemary K. Otzman
At its regular meeting Dec. 9, the Belleville Area District Library board was told it had spent $165,000 so far over the last few years in the drive to get a new library on the lake.
CPA Ron Traskos gave a draft of the audit to the board members and although the amount spent on expenses and consultants on the library building project wasn’t separated out in the documents presented, Traskos had determined the requested figure for them.
The toal had been some $67,000 before the present fiscal year and the total rose to $165,000 in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2014 when the architect, bond attorney, attorney, and other costs were paid.
Traskos gave a draft report on what the board should expect in the final audit report which gives $1,039,347 as total expenses in the 2013-14 fiscal year. Auditor is Alan C. Young & Associates.
The 0.7 mill property tax paid by property owners in Belleville, Van Buren Township and Sumpter Township in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014 totaled $859,974. Library fines and fees were $70,421 and “Other” was $37,558 for total revenue of $967,953.
Traskos said expenditures were in excess of revenue, resulting in a decrease to the fund balance of $35,503, under the modified accrual method of accounting. Per board resolution, $433,667 of the fund balance has been committed for use in the library’s 2014-15 fiscal year budget.
“Financially, you’re in very good shape … You’ve really managed well,” Traskos told the board.
In other business at the Dec. 9 meeting, the board:
• Approved the regular meeting dates for 2015 as the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the library;
• Discussed the two-page, both sides, survey prepared by secretary Joy Cichewicz that was put on line with Survey Monkey for people to fill out. It will also be put in the library newsletter, printed out and put out at the library, and possibly as an insert in the Independent. March 31 is the deadline to complete the survey, which seeks to determine the public’s opinions on the library since voters turned down the 45,000 square foot new building proposed for the DNR property on the lake. When asked, Cichewicz said it is possible to vote twice, but there is no way to control that. Community service volunteers will be used to enter comments written out, so the comments will be included in the results presented to the board in April;
• Approved hiring Wallside Windows, which had the low price quote of four companies, to replace and do lead abatement for 21 windows and trim (put up in the 1950s) at the present library, 42”x24” in size, and dispose of the old windows. Wallside’s quote was $7,524, but they can’t do it until February, but they could do it on a Sunday when the library is closed. Other quotes were: Lowe’s, $10,532; George Meyer, $9,542; and Home Depot, $8,225;
• Reviewed a report from Library Deputy Director Mary Jo Suchy on the actual use of total 19 library computers for the month of November that showed 1,752 hours in 3,016 sessions. The average session is about 35 minutes and the average day computers in the system are used 10:25 hours. Suchy said the computers are used so much that, “The letters actually get worn off the keyboards” Trustee Michael Boelter had asked for the report;
• Heard Director Deb Green say the library held a vegan/non-gluten feast for Maria LeBron as she left library employment to follow her nursing career. Green said they are considering creating a part-time, intern-type position;
• Heard Suchy announce that the new people-counter was to be installed Dec. 11. The old one counted two people coming in together as one, she reported. She said 230 people were present for gingerbread decorating event at the library during Winter Fest; and
• Heard Green say if the library decides to stay at the present site and put on a new addition, she would hate to put on the new needed roof before that is decided and then have to tear the roof down.
By Rosemary K. Otzman