2016 September Minutes

Richmond Free Library Trustee’s

Minutes – September 8, 2016

Present: Ellen Crary, Laurie Dana, Keith Franz, Kristen Hayden-West, Cammy Richelli, Rebecca Mueller.
Also attending Selectboard Library Liaison, Steve May.


Kristen called the meeting to order.

Minutes of June Meeting

The Board approved the minutes of the June meeting unanimously.

Library Director’s Report

  • Richmond Free Library Storytime attendees were recently featured on ABC 22 News.
  • Summer programming went very well, although summer movies were not well attended.
  • Sarah has officially left and Rebecca is recruiting for a new Library Staff position, 20 hours per week.
  • LJ plans to reduce his hours to 10 hours per week, Joan currently works 5 hours and Douglas 18 hours. Rebecca would like to increase Wendy’s hours to 32 –discussion of the budget implications of this follow.
  • Rebecca has scheduled the replacement of the cement stairs and requested a deposit check. The work will likely be done in October.  When the contractor has cut the tree roots as he needs to complete the step replacement, Richmond Tree Warden will make a decision on whether the tree can be pruned or needs to be removed.
  • Rebecca reminded Trustees to check the Library’s FaceBook page to see all of the activities taking place.

Treasurer’s Report

Keith presented the General Fund report for the Fiscal Year that ended June 30, 2016 and made several observations:

  • Library revenue was well above projections.
  • Overages in Retirement, Telephone, Water & Sewer were not a surprise and adjustments were made in the FY17 budget.
  • The overages in Books and Programs were covered by savings in other areas.
  • Total library expenditures for FY16 were under budget.

Keith mentioned that he feels Rebecca has done a great job of monitoring the budget and keeping costs on track.  Rebecca also mentioned that all of the library staff are very “frugal and creative” in helping to keep costs low.

He also mentioned that the Capital Reserve is well-funded and we spent around $4,000 out of it during FY16.  The estimate for the step project is around $6,700.

FY18 Budget Planning – Trustees discussed the following in preparation for approving the FY18 budget proposal to submit to the Selectboard.

  1. Building Needs – Rebecca provided the Trustees with an excellent and thorough document outlining the maintenance and capital needs for the library, which included:
    — A comprehensive list of ongoing “regular” maintenance items which are covered within the
    library’s maintenance budget.
    — A list of recommended evaluation/improvement projects.  The trustees prioritized this list
    and feel that some of the items should be scheduled and taken care of in the next year.  Of the
    most concern was to evaluate the air quality of the basement to determine if there are any
    health issues and if there are ways to take care of the damp and odors.  Other “high priority”
    items included repositioning and replacing the faded sign, landscaping issues in front and back.
    And purchasing replacement AC units now to take advantage of end-of-season cost savings.
    Rebecca will update the list with updates and include the priority rankings that Trustees —
    These items are typically funded from the Capital Reserve.
    — A list of structural maintenance issues that have been identified within the two building
    evaluations recently completed.  Trustees feel that these items are outside of the scope of the
    regular maintenance and capital reserve budgets and fall within the purview of the Town of
    Richmond, as building owners, to address.
  1. Staffing Needs – Rebecca outlined her “case” for increasing Wendy’s hours to 32/week, which will make her eligible for town insurance coverage. Wendy’s work is important to the library’s function as she is the Assistant Director and also in charge of all of the children’s programming at the library.  This change is reflected in a 3% increase in salary and an increase of about 24,000 for the cost of a family plan.  She is uncertain whether Wendy would take advantage of the Town’s health insurance but it needs to be in the budget.
  1. Capital Reserve – As mentioned in the Treasurer’s report, there is a fairly healthy Capital Reserve budget—however this fund is important to maintain in order to address more costly maintanence and replacement issues as they arise.
  1. Advocating for the Budget – Steve May, our Library Liaison to the Selectboard, joined us for a productive discussion about ways to educate the selectboard about both the library’s mission and programs and the various budget pressures that are represented by occupying an historic building. The Trustees would like to reach an agreement on the Town’s responsibility for maintaining the historic structure of the building as the owners of the building of which the Library is the tenant.  In order to start this process, Rebecca will request time on the September 19 Selectboard Agenda to begin this educational process.  The Trustees will share several documents with the Board members:
    — The revised Building Maintenance document mentioned in #1 above
    — The structural reports from Headwaters Construction and Jan Lewandowski that describe
    building structure issues and recommendations.
    — A request to move forward on the Library Trustee’s recommendation for the Town to have a
    system of coordinated facilities management in the interests of both using staff time to address
    their primary responsibilities and to realize cost savings.

Approval of FY18 Budget Proposal

Keith moved to approve the FY18 Library Budget Request as presented, Laurie seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Proposal to Richmond Conservation Commission

Kristen reviewed the mission and purpose of the Richmond Conservation Commission and described a preliminary conversation she had about the appropriateness of a proposal to fund library building repairs through this fund.  The Trustees agreed that this would be an appropriate use of these funds as addressi “conservation of buildings of historic importance.”  Since we believe the structural repairs to the building, such as the roof and steeples, fall within the responsibilities of the town, we will make a recommendation that the town, with the support of the Library Trustees and the Friends of the Richmond Free Library, make the project request.

Next Meeting: The next meeting of the Richmond Free Library Trustees will be Thursday, November 3, 2016.

Reminder:  The Richmond Free Library Trustees meet on the 1st Thursday of the month in January, March, April, June, September, and November.

Respectfully submitted,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Laurie

September 10, 2016

Laurie Dana, Secretary


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