Keene Memorial Library advisory committee members voted on Monday to recommend the City of Fremont move trust funds — intended to generate money for the library — from city coffers to a place where they can earn interest.
The committee also learned the library has come in under budget for the 2018-19 year.
Other business included a vote by members to decline a request for a condom box to be placed at the circulation desk.
During the meeting, Tina Walker, library director, said she began looking at trust funds held in city coffers while searching for funding sources for the planned library expansion project.
Three trusts are involved.
Income from the Tiegeler trust, which started at $25,000 and now has $26,945.38, was intended to be used for upkeep of a second floor lounge and a fountain, which do not exist, Walker said.
The Tiegeler trust also was to be used for beautification of the library grounds and general upkeep of the buildings — under the supervision of the library board. Accumulated cash was to be spent on library expansion, to organize a branch in an outlying area.
Walker has sent a request the city’s legal experts to see if the Tiegeler fund can be liquidated and put into the expansion project fund.
The Wiysel trust has no requirements. Former library director Ann Stephens had recommended these funds be used for books and materials until a major project requires the money, Walker said. The Wiysel trust began at $42,066.34 and now has $42,823.35.
That fund has a certificate of deposit (CD) that earns interest each year.
The Myers trust has a permanent principal, which must remain at $100,000 minimum. It is supposed to be invested with the annual interest given to the library for books and materials.
“It is not invested,” Walker said. “It is sitting in the city checking account.”
Shari Kment, a library committee member, asked when the Myers trust was started.
Walker estimated it was started in the early 2000s.
“They existed before that even,” said Larry Jirsak, committee chairman.
Walker said she contacted Melissa Diers, executive director of the Fremont Area Community Foundation, who recommended transferring the funds into a Friends of the Keene Memorial account or to the FACF so they can invest it and interest can be earned each year.
The library director also said $63,000 in H bonds were cashed in 2000 to make up the $100,000 total in the Myers trust. The other part was $37,000 in cash that was donated.
“Where’s the interest? Why isn’t this invested as directed by the bequeath documents?” Walker wondered aloud.
Walker, who wasn’t library director in 2000, said she isn’t sure why the funds were moved to a city checking account instead of being invested.
The committee voted to recommend to the city that the trust funds be moved from the city coffers to the FACF Friends of the Keene Memorial Library account or investment.
Walker said this will go to Fremont Assistant City Administrator Shane Wimer and then to the city legal department to see if the funds can be moved. If so, the recommendation will go to the Fremont City Council.
Committee members also learned the library came in under its 2017-18 budget of $1,352,824.
The library spent $1,022,741 Of that sum, $654,820 went for personnel costs such as salaries, wages, taxes, insurance and pensions. The remaining $367,921 was the total amount spent to keep the library running, Walker told the Tribune.
Walker said more than $170,000 was spent on books. Of that $155,000 came out of city coffers. The rest came from the Friends of the Library account.
In other business, the committee voted to respectfully decline a request by the Three Rivers Health Department to place a condom box at the circulation desk in the library. The request was made as last month’s meeting.
During Monday’s meeting, committee members learned the city is moving the library to different software and hardware platforms for public printing and copying.
That means library patrons will find — in about six months to a year — that printers used to make copies, and how information is sent from the computers to the printers, will be different.
Walker updated the committee regarding various events.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will participate in Storytime from 4-5 p.m. Dec. 20 at the library. The public is invited.
The Halloween event proved popular, Walker said, estimating at least 360 people came through the haunted house in the upstairs portion of the library.
“We had kids who went through it six times,” Walker said.
An estimated 350 people attended the White Light Tree Lighting event, which took place Nov. 15 at the library.
Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, who attended, were honored for a belated Veteran’s Day.
“It was great,” Walker said of the event.
Walker also reported that $700 was raised via book sales at Dave’s Drive-In Liquor store in Fremont. Owner Jeff Rise donates all book sale proceeds to the Friends of the Keene Memorial Library’s general fund to help provide monies for library programming.
The Friends of the Library’s annual fundraising book sale in April 2019 will take place at Christensen Field instead of Fremont City Auditorium, where it’s typically held, due to auditorium renovation.