Few New Books, No New Hours for Yorkville Library

Library leaders are working on a draft budget that includes little new spending and a small surplus.

The ’s main operating fund is expected to end the fiscal year with money in the bank, thanks to unexpected property taxes and a special transfer aldermen approved in September.

The draft budget for the next fiscal year, which starts May 1, includes little money for new books and minimal increases in staff salaries. Reduced library hours, which went into effect May 1, 2011, will continue, Library Director Michelle Pfister said.

The library board’s finance committee reviewed the draft budget Tuesday, and the library board is expected to discuss and possibly approve it at its meeting Monday, which starts at 7 p.m. at the library.

At one point, city leaders had expected the library operations fund—which is considered part of the city’s budget although its tax levy is controlled by appointed library trustees—. The operating budget that library board members approved in April 2011 anticipated $736,950 in revenues and $1,060,275 in expenses.

Aldermen approved a transfer in September, though, in which the city gave the library’s operations fund $332,500 in exchange for the library’s capital fund giving the city $332,500 to use for future upgrades to Game Farm Road. Capital funds are limited to building and similar projects, while operations funds go toward salaries, utilities and contracted services.

The transfer also means that the library’s operations fund is expected to show positive balance of $343,943 on April 30, as well as an annual budget surplus of $26,607. The amended budget anticipated a fund balance of $256,445 on April 30, but the library received unexpected revenue from TIF district property taxes, library card subscriptions and memorials.

The draft operations budget includes $825,235 in revenues, including $700,000 in property taxes, for the upcoming fiscal year. Expenses are projected at $800,722, for a surplus of $24,513. The anticipated fund balance on April 30, 2013, is $368,456.

The projected budget includes no money specifically for books, although money from the capital fund—a separate fund—can be used for that purpose, Pfister said. In the 2010 fiscal year, the library spent $95,774 on books, audio books and music; in fiscal year 2011, it spent $93,967.

Meanwhile, library leaders plan to keep salaries almost steady. The draft budget includes $440,000 in part- and full-time pay, up from $438,000 in the current fiscal year. In the 2010 fiscal year, the library spent $486,675 on salaries and wages; in fiscal year 2011, it spent $501,353.

The library’s capital fund, which includes development fees and investment income, is expected to have a negative fund balance of $2,846 on April 30 after transferring the $332,500 to the city’s general fund. The draft budget includes $8,000 in developer fee revenue and $100 in investment income in the upcoming fiscal year, for an expected fund balance of $1,254 on April 30, 2013.

Valerie 'Holmes' Skroch March 07, 2012 at 02:22 PM
How can a library not budget for new books! That is like a grocery store not restocking it's shelves! Our adult fiction section is already pretty thin! I don't mind paying for a library, but it is frustrating when I still have to buy half the books I want!
The Fighting Fox March 07, 2012 at 02:58 PM
This is a perfect example of what happens in government when nobody is paying attention, start with a tax levy controlled by "appointed" trustees and the result is that there is no money for books, reduced operating hours for the public, and money being shuffled around all while still managing to keep salaries almost steady.
Sharon Lowy March 07, 2012 at 04:22 PM
This is criminal! Our property taxes include money for the library. I am still unable to understand where the money the library had went under the last administration. Our children need access to the library 7 days a week and the decreased hours do not allow enough time for high school aged students to have the time they need in the afternoons and evenings. Our library personel is fantastic. It is a real shame our city government has managed to minipulate the funds as they have.
MikeK March 08, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Ask Todd Milliron. He seems to be the super sleuth to possible govt back door dealings and misappropriation of funds. :) Your right about the library personnel, they are fantastic and not noticed much for the one and usually best govt service provided. The money that is in your tax bill has a dirty little secret. It might be put into the general fund like many other library entities that collect a separate tax that is supposed to be for the library. Wish the same could happen to public schools maybe you might see a little more oversight of taxpayer funds.


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