Thorntown Public Library
124 N. Market St.,
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THORNTOWN PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
June 9, 2003
President Eric Ragsdale called the meeting to order at 6 pm. Members in attendance were: Deanna Brueggert, Teresa Carter, John Merson, Patty Ramsey, and Linda Yoder. Also present were Library Director Karen Niemeyer, Treasurer Barb Darnell, Technology/Administrative Assistant Linda White, Clerk of the Works Craig White, Architect Sean Bright, and Community Fund Executive Director Lisa John.
The Board approved the minutes of the May meeting after a motion by Patty and a second by John.
Treasurer Barb Darnell reported May receipts of $120,305.10, disbursements of $189,123.40, and an ending cash balance of $98,233.36. The larger than normal amount of receipts and disbursements reflects the transfer of the $100,000 C.D. to Farmers Bank; Home National Bank was unable to match the 2.07% interest rate offered by Farmers as a 13-month special. The interest earned on the previous C.D. was left in the operating fund, and only the principal was transferred. Barb led the review of the Claims Register, noting the addition of $30.21 for Vectren, $87.95 to the Tippecanoe County Clerk, and $94.38 to Cingular Wireless for a cell phone. She also reported a reduction in the Anthem bill from $2,308.09 to $1,417.77, resulting from the deletion of Bev Skow. Linda moved the Board approve the claims register and Deanna seconded. The motion passed.
Lisa John presented an overview of the operation of the Community Foundation of Boone County with respect to endowment funds. An endowment fund is a permanent asset, and five percent of the total fund balance can be distributed each year. Disbursements can only be made from the earnings. The principal cannot be touched although it is possible that negative returns could decrease the principal. It requires a minimum investment of $5,000, and the Community Foundation charges a one percent fee per year. As of this meeting, total investment in the Foundation is about nine million dollars. The rate of return in 2002 was a negative eight percent; the Foundation has earned between nine and ten percent since its inception in 1992. The investment policy calls for investing 60 percent in equities and 40 percent in fixed income instruments. Investments can be made in any amount after the initial $5,000 and can be in non-cash forms such as property, stock or life insurance. There is also the option to establish a fund within the Community Foundation without having the $5,000 initial investment and to reach that goal within a five-year period.
Turning to old business, Karen reported that she had talked to Charlie Warburton from Clinton Township about a potential merger. Because two of the commissioners are also farmers, there has been no opportunity as yet to meet to discuss the issue with them. There does appear to be a great deal of interest in the merger, however. Karen will keep working on setting up a meeting.
With regard to the park board appointment, a letter from Attorney David Cook established that a Thorntown Library Board member must be a resident of Thorntown to be considered for the ex-officio park board membership. None of our board members lives in Thorntown, so our only option would be to send a designee in an advisory position. The issue was tabled until next month to give us time to consider our options.
Under new business, Sean reported that we had received eight bids on our building project. There was an 18 percent spread between the highest and the lowest. We accepted a base bid and 13 alternatives. Since our budgeted amount is two million dollars and that cannot be exceeded, it was determined to go with the base amount only. The low bidder, Flaugher Construction, was still over our allowable cost, partly because they included the main part of the fountain alternative in their base bid. By deducting that out, we should see a number much closer to what we need. Karen also explained that the $200,000 shown in the feasibility study for equipment will be applied toward the construction instead. Sean said that we may award one or more of the alternatives after the first phase of construction when we have a better idea about the need for the contingency amount.
Karen told us that Financial Advisor Lonnie Thurber had explained we actually have another $6,000 from interest generated on the bond, but we are not considering that in the acceptance of bids. He is also going to give us a decision on whether or not the $7,500 we paid for the feasibility study has to be counted in our two million dollar cap.
Asked about the trustworthiness of the low bid, Sean explained that the bonding companies use a formula for reliability. This involves taking the average of the second and third lowest bids and multiplying that average by 90 percent. The low bid met this test.
Deanna moved that we award the contract to Flaugher Construction, subject to their removing enough costs from their base bid to eliminate our overage. Sean will negotiate with Flaugher. Patty seconded the motion. The motion passed.
Concerning financial issues, Karen reported for Lonnie Therber that our bonding will be for one and one-half million, leaving the library with a cushion in case it is needed. There was a question about using a line of credit instead of taking the complete amount at once, but Karen discussed that with Jeff Qualkinbush, and he said there were too many hoops to go through to make that practical. Lonnie also recommended we have Home National write a letter committing to the four percent rate they have offered, but that we not have the closing until the July meeting, saving us $5,000 in interest. The Board expressed its appreciation for Home National’s support for this project.
In order to provide the most effective benefit to any library employee who completes college education courses in the library field, Karen offered a proposed change to the policy manual, Section H.3.6.1. The proposed change is: “To encourage further education and improve library services the Board will reimburse an employee up to One Thousand Dollars ($1,000) per calendar year for tuition/fees/books upon successful conclusion of nine (9) credit hours of college class work related to the library field and upon presentation to the Board of transcripts of these classes.” Deanna moved to accept the proposed change and Teresa seconded it. The motion passed.
With regard to the 2004 budget, Karen requested a sense of direction for the operating budget. The other budgets are pretty much established. There are many unknowns, not the least of which are the amount of income we will have and the operating costs of the new building. The Board indicated a desire to be conservative while waiting for further information; the consensus was that salary increases should be three percent in the 2004 year. At the same time, the Board acknowledged the excellent job being done by the library staff.
In the director’s report, Karen reported that Stacie Lewis-Crick got a concussion as the result of an on the job accident and missed 13 days of work. She is now back at work and doing fine. The State Board of Accounts has decided that there is no need to have a resolution required when money is moved from one account to another; it was an information only report, not kept as a part of the permanent records. Karen is getting the information on cafeteria plans and will be presenting that at a future meeting. We had a false identity case when a woman used another name to secure a library card; Karen will be presenting a policy change on identification verification at an upcoming meeting since other agencies often use the library card as identification.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 pm on a motion from John and a second by Linda.
Next Regular Meeting: Monday, July 14, 2003 at 6 pm
Linda Yoder, Secretary
Thorntown Public Library Board of Trustees