The tax rate for the Fort Myers Beach Library will be staying the same as it was last year, 0.3499, while the board approved budget for 2016-2017 goes up about 3% to $1,363,983. At Tuesday evening’s Final Budget Hearing, the short-handed board voted unanimously to approve both the millage and total budget for next year. Present were board members Sallie Seabury, Miffie Greer, Mark LaFave, Lorrie Wolf and Debbie Whitehead. Two board positions created by the resignations of Alison Throckmorton (5/15) and Jack Green (3/16), remain vacant awaiting appointments by Governor Scott’s office.
During the board’s regular monthly meeting, held after the budget hearing, the board approved the auditor’s report for fiscal year 2014-2015 from Jeff Brown of Ashley, Brown & Co. Delayed by new requirements related to retirement and pension liabilities, the audit was delayed over 6 months while waiting for information from the State of Florida.
Brown reported that the firm was able to give “a clean opinion – unqualified, unmodified” meaning that the financial statements and all supporting documentation matched. The report is available on the library’s website, fmb.lib.fl.us where the 2016-2017 budget can also be found.
In the Audit Report, Library Director Dr. Leroy Hommerding comments on cost savings.
“Salaries and wages came in under budget due in part to having volunteers doing many of the cleaning tasks and to volunteers doing budgeted tasks such as Administrative Assistant. Accumulated benefits can present a case of possible cost to the District–during the year no such benefits were paid. This, of course, also saves in Retirement costs.
“More people were using the library throughout the year. This increased the operating supplies and janitorial products needed. It would also have increased our cleaning service expenses, though in the current year we were blessed with regular volunteers to assist in that cleaning with substantial reduced cost to the library. When service is expanding, these costs, as needed, seem a wise investment.”
The board also approved the Library’s Annual Plan for 2016-2017.
During the Director’s Report, Hommerding noted that he continues to search for an Electronics Librarian and has interviewed 4 candidates to date. He will be participating in a 3-month online Dynamic Planning Institute hosted by the Public Library Association. The program includes a three day in-person workshop in Washington D.C. next week.
The library has obtained an 8,000-piece jigsaw puzzle of the Sistine Chapel that will be 4’ x 9’ when finished. Hommerding is seeking the donation of use of a large dining table that can be opened to 5’ x 10’ for the puzzle. Anyone who is willing to loan a large table is asked to call the library, 239-765-8162.
The next Library Board meeting will be October 25, 2016 at 6:30pm in the Community Room on the library’s third floor.