Currently, over 600 people a day are part of the walk-in traffic the Jasper Library gains from patrons using the facility. This was among the topics discussed at Thursday afternoon’s meeting at the Jasper Library Annex.
Previously the library board made it publicly known that they wanted to have conversations with community members in regards to setting a 10, 15, or 19 year interest expense for taxpayers and in their findings they observed similar questions from people regarding the impact and necessity of a new facility for the library.
Yesterday board member Mark Kunkel told fellow members that he was approached and was asked why the city is in need of a bigger library.
Library Director, Christine Golden pointed out that the door count of people who enter the Jasper Library in 2015 was an estimate of about 264,000 and will increase with summer activities this year, she also pointed out that its impressive how much activity comes from a modest size library at 10,000 square feet and can only imagine what additional activities can become possible with the envisioned library component for the Jasper Cultural Center.
Now before the board decided on any decisions in regards to the year-interest bond selection, the board noted that the city of Jasper would be taking the lead of negotiation regarding services with City Property Group.
The board narrowed down their decision between deciding on a 10 or 15 years interest expense. Board Member Pamela Catt shared that people want the least amount of a tax impact. The board motioned to put a 15 year interest expense and all board member approved the move.
While legal agreements and tax logistics are essential to determine as the Library gears in preparation for required steps for the referendum other areas such as fundraising, placing this initiative on the voting ballot, and also informing the public on why they should vote are key concentration as well.
Golden informed the board and public that she recently learned that library directors and board members of libraries in Indiana are allowed to talk and promote a project from the library stand point and even encourage people to vote yes on their ballot.
Golden spoke with John Chrastka, the Executive Director of EveryLibrary.org non-profit organization who gave a presentation in Jasper back in February about getting people to participate and shares her prospective of being able to approach voters.
Golden also noted that they are anticipating indications from the Library’s legal council and bond council and that about the time their June meeting rolls around they will have a preliminary determination hearing which will indicate whether or not the Library initiative will be on the fall voting ballot.
One of the requirements needed is to get petitions from the county clerk’s office and achieve an estimate of 500 signatures to get on the ballot. Golden says that it’s an exciting time to be doing outreach and provide information to the public about the Library’s next steps, its role in the Jasper Cultural Center, and the overall progress of the project.