BY BOB LOGAN
FRANKLIN GROVE — Several trustees of the Franklin Grove Village Board suggested at Monday night’s regular monthly board meeting that the idea of having a separate library district for the Franklin Grove Library was an issue that should be looked into. The impetus for the discussion appeared to be the difference in library annual revenues compared to the general revenues of the village. The board members suggest that including library revenues and expenses under the blanket of the village boarks skews the financial reports of the village.
Historically the village board acknowledged the value of the library to the community in 1925 agreeing to tax to promote the operation of a public library which to that point had been strictly a voulunteer membership organization. Upon the death of Winifred Knox, a long time supporter of the library, a bequest was received that allowed for the operation of and expansion of the library in a new facility which opened in August of 2007.
The library has from the outset observed the village boundaries as the library service boundaries as the only properties taxed for the library are within the village limits. Outside the village cardholders are required to pay $75 per year, the approximate cost an average property owner pays for taxes to the library each year.
To create a library district would relieve the village board of administrative responsibilities such as holding elections, handling payroll, purchasing insurance and levying taxes, all of which would transfer to a new governing board.
The area of service could remain the same or be increased to areas contingent to the current district. A new taxing body would be created, with an accompanying layer of property taxes. The library board would then be responsible for its own election, administration of its own payroll, paying for a totally separate audit, and having a separate insurance policy.
In other action
The board discussed lighting the large pine tree at Flat Iron Park as the village Christmas tree. There would be a one-time cost of approximately $1,500 to purchase a string of LCD lights 1,000 feet long that would be energy friendly and low-maintenance.
Several businesses and idividuals have expressed interest in helping offset the cost. Others may help this project become a reality by pledging support also by contacting Village President David Atkinson and making such intentions known.