The Boulder City Library’s Board of Trustees approved the library’s budget for fiscal year 2016/2017. On May 19, the board approved a budget of $1.3 million with an extra $101,240 that will arrive at the begining of June of this fiscal year.
The extra $101,240 is from property tax paid to the city by the solar companies in Eldorado Valley. The Library receives a majority of its funding through property taxes.
The biggest increase to the budget is toward the utilities fund. The board added $96,000 to the fund due to an increase in utilities rates starting in October. “Utility rates are going up and we need to be prepared for that,” Board Chairman Gary Berger said. “We have extra money coming in but we are also going to be dealing with some increased cost.
The budget also adds $41,935 to the Facilities Maintenance Fund due to last years budget which underestimated the work that needed to be done on the building. The work includes basic building repairs like plumbing, electrical, roofing and carpet cleaning.
The board also agreed to pay all library employees $500 bonuses. The bonuses were given as a thank you to employees for staying with the library after the resignation of former Library Director Lynn Schofield-Dahl.
Schofield-Dahl resigned after being accused of misappropriating library funds. She was later cleared of that charge. Boardmember Marita Rhinehart said bouneses were necessary after everything employees had been through. “I am really happy we are able to give our staff these bonuses,” Rhinehart said. “With all the dismay we put them through they deserve it.”
The bonuses were part of a larger discussion to give lower earning employees a raise $15 per hour, however the board decided to table that discussion. Rhinehart said that pay raise talk should wait until October when the board has a better understanding of the library budget.
“I think we do need to look after our staff, but I think we need to wait before we start talking about raises,” Rhinehart said. “October we will have a better understanding of the budget and we can have a better discussion.”
Berger was weary of paying all employees at least $15 an hour.
“If we paid everyone at least $15 it would cost us $683,000 in the first year alone,” Berger said. “ I just don’t know if we are ready to do something like that yet.” The board of trustees also appointed a search committee to find a new library director. The committee is made up five members, Boulder City Administrator Bryce Bolt, former Clark County Library Administrator Rob Morss, city councilman Duncan McCoy, current library board member Marita Rhinehart, and community volunteer Myra Davis.