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Progress made on library project

Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 9:54 am

Several area residents packed last week’s Mexico-Audrain District Library board meeting held at the Vandalia Branch Library last Tuesday evening.

Several area residents packed last week’s Mexico-Audrain District Library board meeting held at the Vandalia Branch Library last Tuesday evening.

The Mexico-Audrain County Library District provided updates to the several Vandalia supporters attending their monthly meeting held this time in Vandalia last Tuesday.
Board member Dave Neuendorf told the board and those in attendance that the air quality tests post abatement, in regards to asbestos, went “fine.”
“That process is complete,” he added.
Board President Aggie Deimeke confirmed that the district received the lease termination notice from the City of Vandalia for the Vandalia Branch Library location one week earlier.
The library has until December 15, 2016 to move from its current location due to the progression of the YMCA Project.
Vandalia Branch Library Manager Crystal McCurdy provided the board an update.
“We’re very excited about having a new library,” she said. “This building has served us well for 59 years but it’s time for a new one. It has taken us five plus years to get where we are really going to move out.”
McCurdy said a timeline to move out begins with the tech person setting up new wiring in a temporary location in October.
Packing books and taking book cases down could take place in early November. Then library volunteers could then begin unpacking boxes and setting up book cases at the temporary location. McCurdy hopes for the library to make its move by Thanksgiving so it is well ahead of the December 15 deadline.
President Deimeke nearly cut off McCurdy to say it was a good timeline but the district director would have to be the one to direct the transition for the location. She also said the board has to talk about the plan as well.
McCurdy reiterated her tentative timeline is something the local staff can make sure does happen. She noted that new City of Vandalia City Administrator Chase Waggoner has noted city workers could help with the transition.
Several volunteers would also be needed.
McCurdy then gave an update on the dollars raised for the new building.
With about $600,000 dedicated by the district for the new project, after the initial purchase and asbestos removal, it pushes the total to $420,000 geared directly for the newly constructed building.
This total would construct about a 2,800-square foot facility.
The current location is 4,350 square foot.
An additional $180,000 would need to be raised to get a new location to the desired square footage.
After receiving a first donation on August 11, in one month’s time, $20,051 have been raised.
She noted a couple of recent $500 donations.
McCurdy said the library is having trouble with grants due to the Friends of the Library not being a 501(c)3.
She also gave an update on other possible donations to come in from local grant entities and businesses.
McCurdy noted the possibility of receiving help from something called the Rural Library Project, which helps with the construction of rural libraries.
Upcoming plans include a table at Prairie Days and a fundraiser at Pizza Hut.
McCurdy said a direct mail flyer has been made and will be sent to everyone living in the 63382 zip code as an effort to raise funds.
“I just think it’s very exciting that the Vandalia Library is going to have a new home,” she added.
President Deimeke said Vandalia has done great with their efforts on the project.
Some discussion was held on the proper security of the donated dollars. McCurdy asked the board on the possibility of doing deposits with Martinsburg Bank, with whom the district has an account.
President Deimeke said she had invited a YMCA Project representative to attend the meeting but they were unable to attend.
The board members present reiterated that they knew the lease notice was coming and that the City of Vandalia, and no one else, should be considered the “bad guy” for the library getting the end of lease notice.
A temporary location for the library will be the former CSI building.
Board member Amy Childs gave the board a potential layout for the location as she had recently met with new City Administrator Waggoner. A tentative date to leave the facility would need to be given to help the city in case another entity shows interest in the building.
“I think it’s a good solution,” Childs added.
The board said the City of Vandalia would have to authorize their use of the building at their next board meeting.
The library board also approved a motion for Director Kephart to follow up with the city on a lease given the lease is a reasonable one.
Some discussion was also held on how the district publicizes the need for bids.
The board approved the minutes from the August meeting.
A brief discussion was held on the director’s report.
As for new equipment, Farber received light bulbs and a new sprinkler,  Laddonia got a new vacuum, Vandalia got property, Martinsburg’s location received new lights financed by Martinsburg Community Betterment, and Mexico is going to get new property.
The statistical report was given.
The Finance and Endowment Committee’s report noted, by President Deimeke, a want for an inclusion of bank statement records from Vandalia’s Branch Library location.
A personnel policy was also approved.