MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE PLATTEKILL PUBLIC LIBRARY: December 5, Special Meeting, 2013
Plattekill Public Library
Special Board of Trustees Meeting
December 5, 2013 7:00 PM
The meeting was called to order at 7:03 PM with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Present were: Lynne Ridgeway, President; Valerie Smith, Vice President; Keith Canfield, Treasurer; Karen Adamson, Assistant Treasurer; William Farrell, Trustee; David Padilla, Trustee; John Georghiou, Director
Joseph Egan, Trustee, was excused
Additions to the Agenda
Discussion of Possible New Building Site
There is an increased offer from the other interested buyer whose initial offer was rejected. Other aspects of that offer are unknown.
There was a discussion of the facts that would be revealed by a Phase 1 Environmental Assessment. In general, it identifies existing or potential contamination liabilities.
Dealing with the Rural Ulster Preservation Company ( RUPCO) affords us the availability of their experience in renovating large, old buildings and they can probably tell us if it’s financially feasible and what the process of financing it is and what we might qualify for in the way of governmental grants, discounts or
bonuses. The importance of having a grant writer was stressed.
Discussion followed of the many possibilities for the space that would not be needed for the initial library renovation: renting to other organizations, retail space etc. Outreach was talked about in terms of soliciting community support/input, and specifically in obtaining support of the Town Board.
Will Farrell joined the meeting at this time.
According to Will, RUPCO said we’d need to develop a renovation plan, wherein the southern block part of the building would be done first for library use and then start on the remaining sections. The CEO of RUPCO Kevin O’Connor’s specialty is finding funding including grants, which he has done on many major building renovations. Guy Kempe, VP Community Development, and one of RUPCO’s Construction Managers will be viewing the building on Monday at 10:00AM and the Board is invited. Will’s opinion is that Guy’s recommendation is very important. Guy said he will send the Board a report following his viewing.
There was discussion about the effect of a delay in acquiring funding on the purchase of the building. It was determined we have sufficient funds to purchase the building outright. Should financing the renovations become unfeasible we have the right to sell it. Any profit would be an improvement over funds that are currently in an account that does not earn interest. The offer could contain a variety of financing methods. There is no risk in putting forth an offer as no money is transferred at this point. It does let the seller know we are seriously considering the purchase. Volunteers could be used to clean up the building and generally improve the site.
The building has been a mill, an apple cider processing plant and has been vacant for approximately for 20 years.
There will be negotiations on the offer should we make one. We do have an advantage over other bidders in that we are a 501 ( c) 3 organization for tax donation purposes.
Actions to Be Planned/Taken
Consensus of the Board is that we are in an inadequately sized building that does not provide accessibility to portions of our community. An opportunity has presented itself that has great potential and we’ll perform due diligence to see that the tax payers’ funds are protected.
The importance of public relations was emphasized; reaching out to elected politicians, community organizations and the community in general via Town Board meetings, the Friends group, newsletters and local newspapers. The Board needs to be prepared for push back from the Town Board which is not development friendly. A library is an asset to a community as a whole and to home owners in particular.
➔Motion to adjourn at 8:45pm made by Keith Canfield, seconded by Karen Adamson; all were in favor.