The Drake Public Library Board of Trustees reviewed and approved their budget proposal and talked about furniture possibilities for the renovated library at their regular meeting Wednesday evening.
The board approved the proposed budget which will be submitted to the Centerville City Council for consideration at the council’s Monday, Jan. 15 meeting. The proposed budget includes wage and salary increases for current employees. All staff, excluding the janitor, would have their hourly wage brought up to at least a $10.30, which is the city’s minimum wage for all employees outside of the library. The janitor’s wage would increase to $10 per hour.
Wage rates for individuals would then be calculated based on education, skills and longevity. The proposal also includes a salary increase for library director JeNel Barth from $34,850 to $45,488. The average salary for a Class E library director in the state of Iowa is currently $53,227.
The proposal also includes money to hire two additional part-time employees so the library can extend hours and offer more programming, possibly in the evenings and on weekends. More staff would also allow the library to have staff on the main floor and in the children’s library on the lower level at all times. Since the renovation is adding even more space to the library, the additional staff would also make it easier to watch over all areas of the library during operating hours. The final additional staff request is to add hours to the janitor’s position, due to the additional added space that will need to be cared for after renovations are completed.
The board is also requesting $10,000 for capital expenses. Currently the library has not requested budgeted money for capital expenses, but they would like to begin requesting money for that cause. The funds would most likely be used to purchase computers, tablets, other electronic devices and furniture and this would be a continuing expense asked for each year to make sure the library’s technology is up to date.
The board is also requesting $15,000 a year to invest in programming for patrons. Currently they do not receive any money specifically for programming. The $15,000 would be split into three $5,000 increments, one for children’s programming, one for youth programming and one for adult programming. The board said the funds could be used to purchase things like software, instructional materials, or could pay for things like speakers’ fees or for extra copies of a book for a book club as examples.
The final area the board is seeking an increase in, is for staff professional development. Currently the library has received $3,000 a year and they are seeking to increase that amount to $5,000 per year.
Budgets for all departments are set to be presented to the City Council during the Monday, Jan. 15 meeting as they begin the budget process for the next fiscal year.
The board also talked about furniture possibilities for the library once renovations are complete. Board member Lottie Wilson had gotten preliminary bids from Iowa Prison Industries and from Library Furniture International.
Wilson said that she believed the furniture budget would not be the $180,000 previously estimated, but would probably come to around $120,000. Wilson said the furniture committee still needed to meet with library staff to get a finalized count on everything that would need to be ordered.
In other business:
• The Executive Committee approved another change order to replace the ceiling on the top floor are being converted into a conference room and maker space. The additional expense will be $2,529.40.
• The Board heard a construction update. The lower level renovation is on hold until concrete can be poured, which is on hold until it is a little warmer outside.
The next board meeting will be Wednesday, Feb, 14 at 5 p.m. at Centerville City Hall.
Krystal Fowler can be reached at email@example.com or by calling the newsroom at 641-856-6336. Follow her on Twitter @KFowler_Daily.