The Journal Gazette
Thursday, April 30, 2020 1:00 am

ACPL to seek funds to fix up buildings

Public hearing next month on borrowing $5.3 million


The Allen County Public Library board next month will have a public hearing on a plan to borrow $5.3 million through a bond issue to correct maintenance problems.

The board's capital committee Wednesday decided to bring the bond resolution to the board at its May 28 meeting.

The public hearing could take place the same day.

David Sedestrom, the library's chief financial officer, said library officials could take advantage of current low interest rates for repayment, the end of payments on a larger current bond issue in January and the likelihood of freed-up contractors this year.

“It's a small issue, and it's all maintenance items,” Sedestrom said. “A lot of our buildings are getting older and need maintenance” because appliances and building components “are at the end of their useful life spans.”

Several branches were built at the same time about 15 years ago and are showing wear, Sedestrom said, adding the borrowed money would not be spent on new construction.

Among possible items for spending the bond issue would be fixing or replacing air conditioning at the Monroeville and Shawnee branches and replacing basement pumps at the downtown library, he said.

The bond issue would not cause taxpayers' bills to go up because it would extend payment amounts for the current bond, Sedestrom said. Putting the spending off, he said, could cause bills to go down but “spike” later.

Committee members discussed the idea that some work could be bid out this year before the bond was issued using cash on hand for payment and that the jobs could help the economy hit by stoppages caused by COVID-19.

Jobs might cost more if the maintenance was delayed, Sedestrom said.

The committee did not discuss what impact the virus might have on the library's overall finances. Members who were in attendance were Kent Castleman, Ben Eisbart and Martin Seifert.

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