Donations keep arriving as fundraising efforts are underway for a new 12,000-square-foot Woodstock Library. The capital fund balance is $61,199.46, down from $62,337.08 due to some recent expenses, but that balance was reported before recent contributions. “I’m thoroughly pleased with the steadiness of donations,” library Director Jessica Kerr said, at the board of directors December 19 meeting.
President Dorothea Marcus said more are expected by the end of the year as people take advantage of tax deductions. She expects another influx in January as some are waiting until they can catch a tax break in the next year.
A $586,000 contract with architect Stephen Tilly is in a ‘pause’ while the library raises enough money for the design development phase when expenses will average about $30,000 per month.
Meanwhile construction manager agent JC Alten continues his work trimming costs to be in line with the promised $4.4 million budget. He has identified “fat” in standard cost estimates used by Tilly’s firm and has tighter figures, according to Building Committee Chair Jill Fisher. Alten is working with Bensonwood, a firm that specializes in pre-engineered structures. He believes using pre-engineered components may yield labor savings at the construction site.
Picket fence and garden may need temporary home
The garden in front of the library with its white picket fence will be an obstacle once construction starts. Kerr and board members noted there are memorial plantings that are cherished by many and something should be done to preserve them.
Marcus suggested the volunteer group Geezer Corps may be interested in helping move the plantings to a new home and preserve them until they can be moved back.
Health plan changes
The library is going to pay 100 percent of health insurance premiums for individuals and 80 percent for families. This is a switch from the current 95 percent for individuals and 85 percent for families and is being changed because most employees have individual plans.
Health insurance premiums, as they are for most everyone else, are rising. Premiums for four full-time employees will increase from $800 per month to $886. For a fifth employee, the library is providing a Medicare supplemental plan.
Census important to libraries
Kerr stressed the importance of an accurate 2020 Census count because libraries receive funding based on population. The library is planning outreach and working with groups including Woodstock Immigrant Support to make sure as many people are counted as possible.
Tax levy is under the cap
The library has learned its 2020 tax levy of $585,544 is $29,000 under the cap. Since trustees adopt the proposed budget in July for voter approval in October, the tax cap is not yet calculated. To cover all the bases, trustees pass a pre-emptive resolution to override the cap. Since the levy is under the cap, the board voted to rescind the resolution.
Farewell Trustee Jones
Jesse Jones’ 10 years as trustee is coming to a close this month. The board and Kerr signed a card of appreciation. The December 19 meeting would have been his last, but he was unable to attend.
“He will be gone but he won’t be forgotten,” Marcus said.