Minutes for the Nov. 8 Trustees Meeting

The meeting convened at 7 p.m. at the library. Attending were Cindy Binzen, Curt Albee, Rachel Kurland (via Zoom), Carol Wilson,, Melissa Strayton (librarian) and Marty Frank.

Minutes from the October meeting were accepted.

Treasurer’s Report: After the most recent financial statement was distributed, Rachel noted that we have gone through 83 percent of year. We’re doing pretty well on most things, although, as Rachel noted, we’re down about $18,000 in income (the town hasn’t made its final quarterly of $8,500, the holiday fundraising is still ahead of us, and donations in response to the annual appeals letter haven’t begun to arrive yet). Our electricity expenses are up significantly (about $125 more than was budgeted for the year), and Rachel isn’t sure why. Our monthly bill was set at about $60, and we had to pay Dori Wolfe’s solar company $174 to reckon the account (reflecting that we had been credited with more solar energy in our monthly bills than has actually been produced). In general, though, our spending has pretty much been in line with what we’ve budgeted. 

Carol wondered about what arrangements have been made with the One Planet after-school program, which the library is sponsoring one day a week until December as a way to offer programming at a time when the confined space of the library doesn’t seem suitable. Melissa said that we’re paying One Planet $5 a child to cover the expense of snacks and craft materials, and covers kids who are regularly participating in One Planet, but not those who aren’t really participating in the program that Sarah Rogers has prepared and is running. Melissa said that’s costing us about $35 to $40 weekly — more than what we would be spending if the programming was at the library, but not unaffordably so. 

Rachel also reported that H&R filed our 990 tax returns by paper, but was supposed to file it by email — an error that was pointed out by the IRS in a letter sent to us that also noted that we face a daily fine of $20 until the filing is done correctly. Trustees were baffled by the fact that a professional tax-preparation company didn’t get that right; Rachel believes that H&R will be responsible for any financial penalties levied against us. 

Librarian’s Report: Melissa said she saw Ed Eastman on Saturday; he’s going to clean the library once a month unless we tell him otherwise. He will be submitting his bill at the end of the year. Our application for the state grant to help cover the courier service was approved. The cost of that is going up slightly, as is the grant, which covers about half the cost. Our ARPA grant has also been approved, and Melissa has ordered an air purifier. We should hear about our application to the Turrell Foundation in December. 

Melissa said she is aware of four new babies in town and is planning to dedicate children’s books in celebration of their arrival. She has ordered a bunch of new books and plans to catch up on ordering DVDs and audiobooks. Melissa noted that we have experienced a 26 percent increase in the downloads of ebooks, a trend that she expects to continue and thinks that we could budget for by reducing the number of LUV audiobooks that we borrow.

Friends Report: Reporting for the Friends, Cindy said that the organization will sell raffle tickets and wreaths this year, but will again skip the indoor sale at the library. Denise Cote and Diane White were elected co-presidents, while David Webb is vice president. 

Other Business: The tent on the front lawn remains up and needs to be taken down soon, or at least before the snow starts to fall. David McWilliams has said he plans to do it soon; Curt said he’ll call David and offer to help. The basement leak continues. The finishing touches on the painting project remain undone and will have to wait until spring. The landscaping work is complete, and Curt remains unhappy about how that transpired. Cindy still hasn’t heard from Tom Cecere about the possibility of an EC Fiber hub at the library. Cindy suggested that we might want to think about offering some winter programming, perhaps after the New  Year. Cindy has covered the bulkhead and noted that the annual furnace cleaning needs to be scheduled. 

Our next meeting will be Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. at the library.

Submitted by Marty Frank