Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Ester library and money issues

The John Trigg Ester Library recently got an appropriation approved by the Alaska Legislature and past the governor's desk. The same appropriation, for $50,000, made it through the legislature last year, but was vetoed by Sarah Palin. This year, Governor Parnell went ahead and allowed it. It's not a huge chunk of change (to the state, that is—to the library, it's a LOT of money) and it will mean jobs in Ester and a bunch of work done on the library. The library itself, of course, will take much more money to do right. And by right, I mean to take into consideration the various green and economic considerations deliberated on over the years of working out the design details.

One concern I have is that we have decided to eliminate the second floor so as to reduce the cost and increase the library floor space. This means that our rental spaces are gone, and that was one major way we hoped to keep the library self-sufficient financially. The construction cost reduction by doing this is significant: perhaps 30 to 40 percent off the top; but without those spaces we would have to rely exclusively on donations and fundraisers to provide an operating budget. Perhaps we can change the design on the main floor to include one small rental space. If we can't rent it, well, so be it, but at least having it will enable some money to come in from time to time, and I think that's important.

No comments: