2011-05-16 / Front Page

Remodeling Schedule, Repairs Set For OCPL Through County Approved Capital Project Plan

Roof Repairs, Carpet, Toilet Replacements In Maintenance For 2012
by Michael Stanley
Staff Writer

Owen County Public Library Director Vickey Freeland oversees an ongoing project to replace a portion of sidewalk in front of the building, located at 10 South Montgomery Street in Spencer. (Staff Photo) Owen County Public Library Director Vickey Freeland oversees an ongoing project to replace a portion of sidewalk in front of the building, located at 10 South Montgomery Street in Spencer. (Staff Photo) The Owen County Council recently approved a three-year capitol project plan for the Owen County Public Library on South Montgomery Street in Spencer.

For 2011, the OCPL has an operating budget of $807,946 with a tax rate of .063 and a levy of $391,292. The Bond Interest and Redemption fund has a budget of $188,000 with a rate of .0281 and a levy of $174,528. The capital projects fund has a current budget of $92,325, with a tax rate of .0106 and a levy of $65,836.

The primary funding resource for the library is property tax revenue, in the amounts of $82,867, $91,953 and $101,949 over the three year span, with an additional $8,000 a year from auto excise, CVET and financial institutions tax receipts. All of which is based on assessed valuations of $683,207,423 with a projected tax rate of .0133.

Under the scope of professional service upgrades in 2012, the capital projects plan calls for $6,000 in computer maintenance, $8,000 in an integrated library system, software upgrades and website upgrades for a total of $19,000.

Repairs and maintenance for the building purchased in 1995 and remodeled through 1997 will total $36,000.

“Capitol projects are only for improvements or maintenance of the building, furniture and computers, things of that nature, it can’t be used for anything else,” Freeland said. “It’s a rate driven account, so we advertise the tax information high, so we at least get the minimum amount we are entitled to. People see that the assessed evaluation is high, but that is one of the ways the State Board of Accounts and Department of Local Government and Finance allow you to advertise high enough. It works the same way within the budget, those figures are frequently inflated, because I’m a full year and a half ahead of when I will get the funding. These are all ballpark figures, you can change the plan every year, even though they make you provide a three-year plan. Things come up, so we change it. I put carpet in the budget every year incase I have to replace a section or the whole thing, but I don’t always use it. The maintenance on the elevator, fire alarm and security cameras, we use capitol money to pay for those maintenance contracts.”

Plans call for the replacement of carpet with tile at a cost of $18,000, replacement of an interior door to the staff area, $2,000 in roof repairs, $1,000 in server room upgrades, $4,000 to replace toilets in the facility, $1,000 for fire alarm maintenance, $1,000 for burglary alarm maintenance, $3,000 on elevator maintenance, $2,000 for copiers and printer maintenance, $1,000 for security camera maintenance and $2,000 for HVAC maintenance.

Additional expenditures total $35,867 for 2012, with $15,000 invested to replace computers and $13,000 to add and upgrade security cameras. An additional $4,000 is set aside for computer carrels and $3,867 for replacement of furniture.

The main building, estimated at a value of $3,419,002 is in good shape according to OCPL Director Vickey Freeland, but she says vandalism and property damage have been reduced by the installation of cameras. The roof and downspouts, soffits and drainage systems on the exterior of the building received some repair in 2008 with additional roof repair in 2010.

“As always, a major part of the capital project money is spent on computer upgrades, maintenance of computers and software, which is used to operate the library and expand services requested by the public,” Freeland’s proposal said. “The rest is used on projects which keep the library in repair. It has been 14 years since the remodel of the old bank building, and major systems have needed upgrades and repairs.”

In 2013, the library hopes to include a $10,000 project to remodel the Youth Services area.

OCPL and its 24 employees serve the 22,397 residents of Owen County across the 385 square miles. The staff includes four administrative positions among the six full-time employees, while one is a bookkeeper and cataloger. Seven employees serve as specialists in various areas of the library, ranging from reference and genealogy to publicity, youth and adult programing and literacy. Two members of the staff are educated with Master of Library Science Degrees, while three additional staff members are certified.

“We have added a couple of standup computers for those who do not need a computer for very long, a color copier and printer have been added so service is now available to the public,” she explained. “The Life Long Learning center needs some work. The roof and soffits were finished last year, and this year we will work on interior surfaces and painting the outside.”

In 2010, more than 132,000 patrons visited the library and at the end of the calendar year, 12,795 adults and 3,500 youth residents held library cards. More than 42,000 adult books were checked out, 7,728 adult audio books and 29,370 DVD’s. An additional 2,900 music CD’s and 2,700 magazines were checked out. The library has subscriptions with six different newspapers. Youth activity saw 33,504 books checked out, with 487 audio books, 16,498 DVD’s and 2,547 music CD’s.

While the library also provides wireless broadband internet access at no charge, nearly 100 people use computers at the facility daily, not including those who utilize wireless access from their personal laptop computer.

Through the 232 youth programs in the library, 3,875 children attended, while 57 attended the nine programs outside of the library. A total of 5,229 teens have attended 213 events at the library, while 100 have attended one teen program outside of the building. Adult attendance has totaled 650 for the 77 programs at the library, with 19 attending the two programs away from OCPL. A total of 115 people have attended the library’s 16 computer classes.

Future plans call for the establishment of a library branch in an outlying community within Owen County. The library is currently applying for a planning grant from the Community Development Block Grant program through the Indiana Office of Community & Rural Affairs. The grant is to help determine a good location in the county. OCPL continues to search for new ways to aid county residents in the use of their library.

The seven-member governing body of the Owen County Public Library consists of board president Frank Cottengim, vice president David Weaver, secretary Frank Coffin, treasurer Donald Taylor and members Reese Nichols, Myrna Fields and Dodie Schinske.The board meets on the third Monday of each month at the OCPL. These meetings are open to the public.

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