Huron County Community Library Gets First Round of Property Taxes

By Jane Ernsberger
Times-Junction News Editor

The Huron County Community Library had a March income of $250,883, according to fiscal officer Adam Searl.

Just less that $50,000 was from the Public Library Fund. The majority of the income in the General Fund was from the first round of property taxes, Searl explained.

The balance in the General Fund on March 1 was $766,434, he noted. Expenses were $95,947. With the property taxes, it leaves a balance in the General Fund of $921,370.

Balance in Capital Improvements was $25,705. Income was $74.80 with no expenses. This leaves a total in the fund of $25,780.

The Grant Fund had an income of $0.04 from interest. The total is $1,035.

The Willard Library Trust Fund started the month of March with a balance of $31,995. Income was from interest for $1.43. Total balance in the account is $31,996.

The Greenwich Trust Fund earned $5.73 in interest. There was also $2,393 in expenses for March leaving a total of $126,529. Searl said said those expenses were mainly from a sign and some expenses.

"Those are nice numbers," noted board of trustees president Doug Substanley.

The North Fairfield Trust Fund had no activity. Searl said the balance is $200.

Trustees approved a fund transfer for $4,500 from Unallocated Appropriations. It was distributed with $4,0000 to Willard Repair and Maintenance of Facilities and $500 to Wakeman Repair and Maintenance of Facilities.

"Snow removal services were more than we anticipated this year," Searl said. "So, we need to take another look at that."

Wilson said a neighboring library that uses the same ILS as the Huron County Community Library has expressed an interest in sharing substitute employees. The scope of how a library operates can be "pretty wide."

"The director and I had talked that we really don't have a pool of substitutes," she said, "if we wanted to perhaps allow our employees to go and be an employee of that other library for substitute purposes."

Wilson said the Huron County Community Library has "hired" three new employees who will only be substitutes from the New London Public Library. There will be one more orientation for those substitutes. A substitute from the Huron County Community Library would sub on a day off from their regular duties.

"It's a win-win situation," noted trustee Ruth Brown.

"It's all about collaboration," Wilson pointed out. "We hear that all the time, how are you partnering with other people. We have talked to the other SEO libraries that are close by."

With the upcoming planned renovations at the Willard Memorial Library, Wilson said she is also looking at telephone service. She said she has talked to a firm that would connect all buildings.

If someone were to call Willard and talk to someone in Wakeman, the call could be connected at the Willard desk. Wilson said they are researching options.

Some repairs have been made to facilities, Wilson told trustees. As part of the renovation project, firms have come in to do the physical surveys of the properties and borings at the annex. Sanitation and sewage lines have also been located at the old gas station building.

"We are fully connected to the server," Wilson said. "Things were not as simple as we thought they would be. Last week we brought on our last location."

Board of trustee member Marie Oney asked Wilson about the status of the roof on the Willard Memorial Library. Several leaks had caused some water leakage into the main areas of that building.

"Everything with the roof is resolved," Wilson said. "Duralast came in. He repaired all three of those drains and tested them."

A recent Foods for Fines during National Library Week will benefit the local food pantries in all locations.

Wilson said there were more than 390 items donated in Willard and over 250 items were taken to the Greenwich Library. With those donations, $600 in fines was waived.

Members of the board of trustees accepted the resignation of Stephanie Buchanan effective April 29 as Greenwich Branch Manager. They also accepted the resignation of Stacey Churchy as Library Clerk IV at the North Fairfield Library. Her resignation was retroactive to April 17.

The jobs have been posted internally, Wilson said, and on Ohio Means Jobs and on OPLIN and SEO. The North Fairfield position, which is presently full-time, will become two part-time positions. There was no internal interest in the North Fairfield position.

"We have gotten a couple hits on the external posting for the North Fairfield branch," she told board members.

There has been some internal interest in the Greenwich position, Wilson pointed out. "I'm also getting resumes daily from our external posting."

Overall, statistics, Wilson pointed out, took a dip in the month of March as far as circulation.

"We were up in Willard and North Fairfield as far as circulation," she noted. "That's encouraging. Our attendance, of course continues to be strong at all our programming. The meeting rooms are used a lot."

Substanley pointed out the healthy numbers from Internet usage at the Greenwich Library.

"They are very busy over there," Wilson added. "Very rarely do I walk in there and not all six computers are in use."

"Embracing their library," Substanley said.

Oney said she felt the remodel at the Greenwich Library has "energized" the feel there.

"It's an emotional feeling of so friendly," Oney explained. "Everybody's excited to be there. It's been so positive."

Barth Gibson, a member of the board of trustees, said a speaker at the Ohio Library Council Northwest Trustees dinner revealed libraries get 1.666-percent of the budget. Libraries would like to be 1.7-percent, which would amount to $10 million being shared by public libraries in Ohio.

Searl said the budget now being looked at has been released. "It may increase us from 1.666 to 1.7, I do want to caution you with the other changes they are doing to the budget, I do not expect our PLF to actually increase."

The administrative committee for the board of trustees will meet on Thursday, April 23 at 9:30 a.m. The buildings and grounds committee will meet on Friday, April 24 at 10:30 a.m.

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