Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Expanding - one piece of property at a time

After a long negotiation, the Board of Trustees have finally come to terms with the owner of 15022 S. Route 59, former home of 59 Hair Design. The contract sets the price at $1,000 over the highest appraised value of the property. The Board of Trustees were determined to begin the process of expansion as they mean to go on - as good stewards of the taxpayers' funds, paying a fair price for the property. I believe that they achieved that aim with this contract.

With the addition of this piece of property, the Library will be able to continue planning for approximately 70,000 sq ft of library space in the downtown. Another 30,000 sq ft is slated for a second site. The amount of space that can be accommodated on the downtown site determines what is needed for a second site. Following last night's Special Board Meeting where the contract was signed, they are now prepared to contemplate the location of a second site.

With frugal management, the Board of Trustees have accumulated a Special Reserve Fund for capital projects. The Special Reserve Fund is the only fund in which the Library's accumulation of money is not capped by state law. By law, this fund may only be used for designated purposes - in our Library's case emergencies and capital projects. Developer impact fees, required by the Village of Plainfield through an intergovernmental agreement, are accumulated in the Special Reserve Fund, plus any surplus in the Operating Fund at the end of each fiscal year (usually very little).

The Board of Trustees planned for years to accumulate these funds in order to do planning and land acquisition prior to any referendum for building expansion. It is the Special Reserve Fund that allowed them to purchase the property at 15028 S. Route 59 (aka "the Gray house" or the grass lot behind the library's parking lot) without a mortgage in 2003 and will allow the same for the 15022 S. Route 59. In 2010, when the library is contracted to purchase the parking lot next door to 15028 S. Route 59 from the Village, the Library will again be able to purchase the property without a mortgage.

The Board of Trustees will continue their commitment to sound fiscal decisions for the Library on your behalf throughout the expansion process.

1 comment:

RBurghard said...

I'm all for the library expansion, especially a second site. Keep up the sound fiscal decision making and before long there may be a library on every corner!