Library board approves $98,000 for plans
Updated: March 29, 2012 4:15PM
Barrington Area Library Board President Donald Minner assured those present at Monday’s library board meeting no final decisions have been made on the proposed $5.7 million renovation project but the board approved $98,000 to go ahead with “static design” plans.
Minner assured the meeting no final decision has been made on the project or the bidding but pre-construction and schematic plans are going forward.
Barrington resident Larry Lincoln expressed concerns about being properly informed of when the forums happen so he can attend.
“We’ll hold forums later (this year),” Minner told the small group attending the meeting without being specific.
Bob Webb of the Barrington Enlightened Taxpayer Association voiced three concerns. How library users will be kept informed. Phasing of the project. And if the district, once the project is completed, will move to replenish the surplus fund balance it used to pay for the renovations.
The library board has voted to go ahead with plans for renovations but no final approval has been given and building will be on a phased schedule, requiring approval at different stages.
However, the library isn’t being expanded, no additional taxpayer money is being sought and the board insists the library will be greatly updated.
Funding would come from the library’s reserves.
“That’s how District 220 paid for the Learning Center,” said Webb, referring to District 220 using surplus funds for the center rather than going to referendum.
The library district suffered a set-back in 2008 when its efforts to get voters to approve a referendum to expand the library from 60,000 to 104,000 square-feet failed.
The current plan keeps the library’s footprint while making improvements inside. The project would improve the parking lot, replace the heating and ventilation system and change the layout of the library.
The board approved $80,000 for programming and schematics, which Executive Director Detlev Pansch said will flush out the plan’s details. Another $18,000 for pre-construction phase planning was approved.
In other news, the board approved the new position of human resources director that will pay between $46,000 and $69,000 a year. Minner, who has worked the human resources field, praise the idea of adding the position for the district that employs about 93 people.
“It’s to keep us on the straight and narrow,” he said. “It will benefit when you are this size of an organization.”
Finally, Pansch proposed increasing the budget $57,000 for new e-materials. He said $37,000 is needed for adult materials and another $20,000 for children’s.