I wanted to take some time to outline our funding structure to make sure that we are being fully transparent in regard to project funding. Our General Fund is dedicated to our daily operation and includes funding for staff, benefits, supplies, professional services, and capital outlays. Believe it or not, the budget for this fund is still well below 2011 levels. So even though our funding for daily operations has not fully recovered, we were fortunate to secure separate funding for special projects. The way we spend each of our funds is governed by the purpose for which those taxes were levied. We welcome these limits, since it is only when tax dollars are used appropriately and transparently that the tax payer can have confidence in the institutions they support. Our large projects for this year were all made possible by special funding dedicated to those particular needs.
Our parking lot and lift station project was funded by a collaborative effort with the City of Greenwood and the Redevelopment Commission (RDC). They committed $310,000 to help us improve our facility and we hope you agree that it has!
Our Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) project, gutters, and flooring projects were funded by a $1,000,000 bond received at the end of 2014. We had hoped that this money would stretch far enough to do some extensive re-flooring, but our Heating and Air Conditioning project ran into significant complications that might limit some of the other projects we had hoped to do. However, all that we discovered with our HVAC affirmed the timing of this project. If we had not secured funding when we did, our cooling system would have completely ceased functioning and we would have had no way to pay the expense to replace it (and we sure can’t open the windows!).
The update of the lobby and teen space is a joint project between the library and the Friends of the Library. Much of the beautiful work in these areas would not be possible without the individuals, businesses, and corporations who believe in our work enough to donate and partner with us.
So while we are spending a lot of money this year, it is all funding that has been provided for specific purposes – not one large fund we spend without oversight. The securing of special funding for these building needs is nothing short of miraculous. Our list of building needs at the beginning of 2012 was 30 pages long and we had no idea how we’d ever afford to bring our beautiful building back to stability. By the end of this year or early 2016 we will have completed almost all of those projects. It is beyond our wildest dreams.
You are a partner in this work, whether through your tax dollars or through your donations to the Friends of the Greenwood Public Library. We take seriously our responsibility to take care of a community resource you have funded, and to keep it shining for years to come. We know the construction interruptions have been constant this year – thank you all so much for your patience through it all!