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Library asks for same amount from city of Dells
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Library asks for same amount from city of Dells

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The Kilbourn Public Library Board approved asking the city of Wisconsin Dells for the same funding it received last year, but is still waiting to see how much it can plan to budget with from funds from the Village of Lake Delton.

At a meeting Aug. 4, Library Director Cathy Borck presented a budget that asks for $247,737 from the city. It is the same amount that was budgeted for 2011, and the board decided to request the funds even though the city clerk is asking departments to decrease budgets by 5 percent this year.

Borck said she figured on increases in cost of fuel, water and light and alarms. Fuel is budgeted at $3,500, and water and light at $14,610. In 2010, fuel cost $2,673 and water and light cost $10,138.

The board believed before that it would be limited in paying back its $2.5 million bond for the library addition with only monies coming from the surrounding counties that also support the library. But Borck said when the maintenance of effort requirement that required municipalities to fund their libraries at an average of what they funded them at for the previous three years was discontinued, it also gave libraries more flexibility on which monies can be used to pay back borrowed funds.

Borck said even though the state law regarding maintenance of effort was ended, she expects the library to be funded at least by the three-year average of previous year funding because it is written into the agreement between the city of Wisconsin Dells and village of Lake Delton.

Borck also said the library is being asked to compare what it spends on janitorial services now to what the bids coming in show for how much it would cost to contract with a service. The city of Wisconsin Dells is considering contracting out for certain services.

According to the budget, Borck handed out at the meeting, $15,855 is budgeted in 2012 for sexton salary and supplies.

It prompted a discussion about what might happen to the current city employee, Karl Griffin's job.

Borck said maybe the city wouldn't have to have layoffs, but just not replace employees after they retire. She said it could be hard to find someone who can both clean the building and know how the building works, such as the heating and cooling system.

Griffin worked with the builders of the new library addition and often reported to the board about what was going on. The new addition has a geothermal heating and cooling system.

Trustee Gisela Hamm asked what about accountability and that maybe someone working for the city would do a better job than contracting out the service.

Trustee Debbie Kinder said a clause about job performance could be written into any contract. Kinder said she doesn't want to lay anyone off, that the city has long time workers that shouldn't be forced out and she'll try to work for the outcome she wants on the city's personnel committee. She also said she thinks that's the way she's heard people talk about what's going to happen.

Borck said, "And I think that is part of the way I heard it too, is to put the people where there's the work that needs to be done, and maybe save the city in overtime and do a little job sharing and be a little more flexible with the employees. It's a tough budget year, and I think they're looking at anything that has the potential to save money," she said.

For salaries, Borck said no raises were given in 2011, but a 1 percent raise is allowed in 2012 for union employees. The director's salary for 2012 is $40,250. The youth services coordinator salary is $33,675. Library assistants pay is projected at $75,099, according to the preliminary budget.

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