Board of Trustees Meeting
June 16, 2009
Present: Rebecca Dickerson, Leslee Miller, John Aune, Teresa
Myott, Kristie Kirkpatrick, Peggy Bryan and Joe Reynolds
Teresa Myott, board chair, called the meeting to order at
Teresa asked for additions or modifications to the agenda.
Whitman Country Assessor Joe Reynolds reported library tax
revenues should remain flat for the foreseeable future. He said
Garfield will begin paying taxes directly into the district on
Jan. 1, 2010 following the successful annexation election
November 2008. Reynolds said the maximum WCL can collect is 44.7
cents per $1000 of assessed value for 2010 with a levy lid lift
WCL could collect 50 cents per $1000. He said county farm ground
received an annual review that would account for a .75 increase
per acre in valuation. Reynolds said the Open Space Program
applies only farm ground. When a farmer enters an open space
contract he promises to farm, Open Space does take into account
the Crop Reserve Program. If the farm is taken out of farming
the land can be taxed with a penalty and interest to accommodate
the broken contract. Reynolds said the Department of Natural
Resources pays in lieu of taxes at 12%, which is close to what
is paid out in property taxes. Reynolds explained the benefit to
towns to annex into the library district is that it gives them
more room to collect taxes at the same amount but they are not
paying for library services. Reynolds said a lid lift is
available to WCL. Director Kristie Kirkpatrick said the levy lid
lift would require 50% voter approval plus one vote for
approval. Director John Aune asked Reynolds why did the voter
passage of Initiative 747 result in the drop of the amount of
money WCL collected to operate the district.
Reynolds said if voters approve a lid lift WCL would only get
1% benefit for one year. Kirkpatrick said WCL would again
receive .50 with an anticipation of values remaining steady. She
anticipates WCL should stay at .50 for a while, however, once
values go up the .50 begins to drop again.
Reynolds explained bank capacity to the board. Sometimes WCL
has not figured in an annexation or utility benefit this leaves
the difference between highest collection rate possible and what
WCL actually budgeted for the year. Reynolds praised Business
Manager Peggy Bryan for her skills and flexibility that allows
him to work with WCL to make these changes at the last minute.
Minutes from the May meeting were approved.
Bryan presented the Financial Report through May 31, 2009.
The WCL budget report is right on target with expenses at 38%,
budget for project, organization of materials under, public
services and admin slightly over, no project code for the
architect, also grant staff money showing up on this report.
Bryan said she held higher cash in treasury to allow for
unforeseen expenses while she is gone for vacation. John Aune
moved to accept the report, Jon Kehne seconded, and the motion
Circulation Kirkpatrick said WCL may consider dropping Ask Us
24/7 online service due to low user statistics. She said this
was a good program but was not used enough. Kirkpatrick said the
library should donate two hours a week to remain in the 24/7
network but due to staffing constraints, Washington State
Library has allowed them to forgo this obligation. She said WCL
has added Consumer Reports in response to the library receiving
many request for the website.
Levy Lid Continued Kirkpatrick explained that due to limits
set on revenues WCL can collect following the passage of I-747
the library had to respond by limiting services we can offer to
county residents. She said WCL has not afforded online audio
books or expanded branch hours, just two examples that impact
county residents. She said that part of the intention of I-747
was that local government would come back to the voters and ask
for money as it was needed. Kirkpatrick said WCL is at that
point now. She read from a prepared Jefferson County press
release that explained their need for a levy lift. Kirkpatrick
appreciated the tone of the release that explains to voters,
"If you would like to maintain what we already have,"
the lift is necessary. Kristie also liked the usage of the word
"restore" in raising the levy amount to a level
previously approved by voters. Kristie reported that smaller
districts often levy near .50, while larger districts with
bigger tax bases might might levy at a considerably lesser
Peggy again shared a document that demonstrates the impact
I-747 has over a length of time. John Aune said the projected
impact is "pretty staggering." Director Leslee Miller
said she was concerned about people who don't use the library.
They may wonder what's in it for them to pass a levy lift. Bryan
said she does receive feedback from people who are not library
users but appreciate the good work done at WCL. Aune shared that
in ten years on the board he has never received a single
complaint about the library operation. Kirkpatrick did affirm
Miller's concern about the levy lift being passed in Miller's
Colton and Uniontown areas. She said many of these residents use
the Neill Public Library in Pullman instead of their local
branches. Director Jon Kehne asked how much it would cost to run
an election. Bryan estimated anywhere from $1,000 to $16,000
depending on how many agencies were also seeking voter approval
on resolutions, etc. Realistically she felt the cost would be
just $1,000 since the request would be made during the busy
November election. Kehne did say it was too bad the request had
to be made in light of increased land evaluations and the poor
Jon Kehne made a motion to pursue levy lid lift at the July
meeting, Leslee Miller seconded and board approved motion
Building update Kirkpatrick said her contact Roni Baer at
USDA said approval for the renovation project should come on
June 30. Kirkpatrick handed out a sheet with the update
detailing progress and planning.
Kirkpatrick said the library would partner with the United
States ten year census to help raise awareness for the
importance of this project. Peggy signed a 2010 Census Partner
Proclamation supporting the work of the census which also
allowed her to apply for grant funding.
Stimulus Funding Stimulus funding is being made available to
improve Broadband connections to libraries, hospitals and
schools. Whitman County Library is investigating possible
projects with either the local Port district or other libraries
across WA state.
Kirpatrick said the Albion library branch might move to a
larger area to accommodate an expanded computer lab. Garren
Shannon of Pullman schools hopes a computer lab might be
attained to benefit Albion students who attend Pullman schools.
Pullman has recognized Albion students to be among their poorest
kids. The town, school and library are investigating possible
Summer Reading This year's program is for adults, teens and
children. Kirkpatrick challenged all Library Board members to
complete the program by reading and reviewing three books over
the summer. A short one-sentence review is all that is required
Rural Heritage Project Whitman County Rural Heritage is
moving full speed ahead. A $9000 grant was received from the
Whitman County Historic preservation committee to produce a
countywide collection and two exhibits.
Library Supporter of the Month David Yu will receive the July
library supporter of the month. Yu is commended for producing a
YouTube video about the library, volunteering and advocating for
the library. Yu will attend the July Board meeting to receive
his award from the Board.
Erica Willson is working on a grant project to assist
residents with career development and job hunting. She will
apply for the LSTA funding in late June.
The next Board meeting will be Tuesday, July 21 at 4 p.m. in
With no further business, the meeting adjourned at 5:23.
Peggy Bryan, Recording Secretary
Kristie Kirkpatrick, Library Director
Teresa Myott, Board Chair
S Main Street
you have any questions, please
397-4366 or toll-free 1-877-733-3375