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Lawton Memorial Library Board Meeting

                 Regular Board Meeting          Tuesday, October 12, 2021


*6:15 p.m. Chair Barbara Melvin called the meeting to order. With COVID-19 numbers still at a high-level, participants participated via Zoom. Rachel was at the library in case anyone showed.          


Roll Call - Present:

Board members: Barbara Melvin, Carol Persons, Georgia Everson, Donna Niles, Gail Muller, Kimberly Walker, and Librarian Rachel Clift.

Member Absent: Gwendolyn Hatfield


*Verification of posting at the Bank, Post Office, and Village Office on October 11, 2021, was given.          


*Persons moved, Niles seconded to convene into closed session, in accordance with Wisconsin State Statutes section 19.85(1)(c), to discuss personnel matters on compensation. (Carried). Closed Session.


*Muller moved, Everson seconded to return to open session and continue with the meeting. (Carried).


*Persons moved, Niles seconded to approve the minutes from the July 27, 2021, meeting. (Carried).


*Financial report: Reviewed the report from 1/1/2021 thru 9/30/2021. The balance is $35,933.87. Of this amount, $478.35 is resource grant funds, $564.63 Gates grant funds, and $1,184.50 CROPP grant funds. This leaves an operating budget of $33,706.39. The savings account has $29,792.18, plus the 2 CDs of $3,971.08 and $9,570.62. Niles moved, Persons seconded to approve the financial report. (Carried).    


*Statistical Report: Rachel reviewed the material handed out ahead of time, on the circulation activity. From July to October 9th, it’s been steady. She showed what we check in and out, renewal items, and circ holds. They also track the number of patrons entering the library daily. Before COVID, this was done 3 different times during the year for averages for the annual report. She asked if the board wanted to continue with the daily or go back to averaging. It was agreed to do the 3 weeks a year average count.      


*Friends Update: They’re planning to decorate a Christmas tree in the park. The community is trying to get people and groups to sponsor a tree for the start of the small-town Christmas celebration time. The group is also proposing to make little library houses outside the library for books & puzzles. All costs are paid by the Friends. Looking for approval to pursue this. The board liked the idea. It was agreed to start with one for books and one for puzzles and ask that the Friends maintain them.       


*Directors Report:        

**Still providing the Make and Take craft bags. They all go each week.     

**Storytime on-line is not going well. The last 3 weeks had no views.

**Page Turners book club is going well. They met outside in summer and planning on Zoom for the Winter.      

**The Solar program went well, as did the Vernon County Reads presentation at Westby.  

**All the yarn collected is being split out with the school, new Forest school at the Reserve, and library. 



**Niles moved, Everson seconded to accept, with regret, the resignation of Library Director Rachel Clift. (Carried). The board wished her the best and thanked her for all her service she’s done for La Farge thru the COVID time. Rachel commented on such an amazing board she’s had to work with, the volunteers are stellar, and Becky is a rockstar. 😊


**Discussed the new Director search. Rachel said the job description is fitting for the position and doesn’t feel the hours are an issue. She suggested saying what the salary is in the ad. The board set a starting pay of $18. Reviewed the village’s job application form. Rachel will update it in PDF format. The required documents to apply include a cover letter, resume, application form, and transcripts. For the interim planning, until a replacement has been hired, will look at Beck y Hooker to cover as she did in the past. She has said she would, which Barb will follow up on. Will pay her $20 an hour while doing the interim director job and increase her hours to 35 per week. The subs will help cover some as needed.


*Timelines: Rachel is done October 23rd. Run the ad in the Episcope and Epitaph-News newspapers next week (October 18th) for 2 weeks, with applications due November 5th. Will also advertise on Indeed, on the website, Facebook, WRLS share, and Donna will post on a site she used last time. Review the apps on November 10th, at 9 a.m. at the library. Do interviews the 15th and 16th. On the 17th and 18th, call references, and November 22nd, make a decision and a possible offer. Will also have our regular bi-monthly meeting this day, starting at 9 a.m. Possibly by December 13th, have someone hired.        


*Persons moved, Niles seconded to post/advertise for the library director job opening. (Carried).


*Everson moved, Muller seconded to approve the employee compensation package for 2022 as was discussed in closed session. (Carried). 


*Reviewed the revenues and expenditures of the 2021 budget year. Set a projected 2022 budget. The county aid went down, $1,241, from $37,550 to $36,309. This includes Vernon, Richland, and Monroe counties. No Crawford County this year. The copies & fines category stayed at $500. For expenses, materials were left at $8,000. Heat was doubled, from $800 to $1,600 as it has been reported this is to at least double this upcoming year. Payroll was lowered by $5,000 to $55,000, as we are hiring a new director at a lower salary then our current one. Social security dropped $250 to $4,200 and Retirement dropped $100 to $3,000. Life insurance, public relations, repairs, supplies, telephone, and Workshops/conferences all stayed the same. In January, the village utilities are expected to increase the sewer by 20%. We are coming in $1,000 under budget this year, at $2,500, so decided to decrease the $3,500 budget to $3,000. The WRLSWeb costs were $4,968.10. For health insurance, Rachel had a single insurance plan, but not sure what the new person we hire will need. So looking at raising this line item from $5,000, to $11,310.90. We are expecting a savings in the 2021 budget, from wages and health insurance premiums for the last 2 months of the year, so if we go over in 2022, will take the difference from our savings account. The board agreed upon an overall budget of $96,809 for both income and expenses. We will ask the village for $60,000.00, the same as last year.    


*Persons moved, Niles seconded to accept the proposed budget for 2022 as agreed upon, and to ask the village for $60,000.00 to help fund our budget. (Carried).


**Trees out front: Rachel wanted to check in on this. The kids are playing in them and they’re not safe. Wayne has this on his list. Barb will check with him to see about cutting out the dead branches. 


*Public comments: Carol said the Friends are having a service day at school. The kids are coming down to work on the gardens around the library. And Rachel said thank you to the board, who have been wonderful to work with. The timing is not great, but everything is appreciated. The board appreciated her, too.              


*The next meeting was scheduled for November 22, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. to choose a candidate and have the regular meeting.    


*Everson moved, Niles seconded to adjourn. (Carried). Adjourned at 8:20 p.m.


Kimberly Walker, Village Clerk/Treasurer

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