The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

November 24, 2012

City may borrow for library study

By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer

CLINTON — The city of Clinton may borrow for the funds to pay for a feasibility study that would identify the needs of the main branch of the Clinton Public Library.  

Library Director Amy Birtell presented to the Committee of the Whole last week and asked for the city to fund $20,750 of a $50,000 study. The other $30,000 is being funded by a grant from the Clinton County Development Association.

“They’ve secured much of the funding for that feasibility study, its just the piece the city would have to come up with.  And it is the directive the city has made to refurbish the Carnegie building...the tax payers have said that as well,” Committee member Jennifer Graf said during the Internal Operations Committee meeting on Tuesday.  

A 2010 referendum that would have allowed up to $10 million in bonding to relocate the library from the Carnegie building failed with 65 percent of voters casting ballots against the initiative.

Clinton Public Library Director Amy Birtell told the board she is focused on staying in the building based on the vote of the people. However the more than century old building is in need of serious upgrades, which the study would identify.  

City Finance Director Jessica Kinser told members of the IOC that because of the $125,000 in budget cuts the library has had in the past two fiscal years, the funding will not be able to come from the library’s budget.  

Instead, Kinser asked committee members if they would like to add the study to a number of other items being funded by a tax exempt refunding bond.    

The tax exempt bond currently includes small bank loans, $1 million in advanced funding for the pavement management program, $250,000 for the rail spur at the rail park, $50,000 for grant administration for the TIGER grant and also matching funds for the Discovery Trail.

Before the borrowing for the study could be approved, the item would come before the Council as a public hearing and as a resolution.

Committee members unanimously moved to include the study funding in the bond.