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Hoag Library has $51K left in unpaid pledges

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 May 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Hoag Library is pictured this evening after the library on South Main Street closed after 8 p.m.

ALBION – Hoag Library has received most of the $1.3 million in pledges and gifts promised for a new library, but $51,000 remains in outstanding pledges, Library President Kevin Doherty said at the annual meeting on Monday.

Doherty was asked by some community members for that information. There were 502 people who made pledges or one-time gifts for the new 14,600-square-foot Hoag Library, which opened in July 2012.

The library had 195 people make pledges and 127 have been paid in full, Doherty said. Some people asked to stagger the payments over five years. Doherty said 20 donors are in arrears, having missed pledge payments.

Overall, about 96 percent of the pledges and gifts have been received. The $1.3 million in the capitol campaign exceeded the goal by about $300,000.

The library owes $1,742,000 on the mortgage for the building, and pays about $11,000 a month towards than loan, Doherty said.

The library board is considering wrapping the mortgage with the expense for a solar project for the roof of the building in a revised long-term, low-interest loan. A state grant is covering some of the costs for the solar project, and other incentives should reduce the library’s cost for that project, Doherty said. The solar project is still being finalized. The library is working with Arista Power on the solar initiative, which could be about $225,000.

The library presented its proposed $698,601 budget for 2015 during the annual meeting. Local property taxes would cover $680,411 of the budget, a 1.6 percent increase from the $669,860 in 2014. The library budget will be voted on May 19 from noon to 8 p.m. as part of the school budget vote at the elementary school.

The library typically elects trustees during the annual meeting. Dele Theodorakos opted against re-election. One community member, former library employee Grace Kent, submitted petitions signed by at least 25 people to be on the ballot. But Doherty said Kent withdrew from the election.

The board decided not to have the vacant position filled during the election because no one else submitted petitions.

Gerard Morrisey said the board should have allowed write-in ballots so the trustee could have been elected by residents and not filled by a board appointment. Doherty said the board intends to fill the position at its May 13 meeting.

Doherty said the board didn’t make provisions for a write-in ballot, and preferred the process of candidates submitting petitions to be on the ballot.

“The public should have a say,” Morrisey said.