Board of Library Trustees Finance Committee February 20, 2020

Board of Library Trustees
Finance Committee
February 20, 2020
1:30 PM
Main Library Conference Center, Room G-4
303 North Laura Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32202

Mario Payne, Trustee
Celia Nass, Trustee
Steven Eagerton, Trustee

Matt Swanson, Committee Chair
Virginia Haworth, Trustee
Carlo Fassi, Board Chair Ex Officio    Others Present
Tim Rogers, Director
Gretchen Mitchell, Deputy Director for     Support Services
Chuck McNeil, Assistant Director, 
            Financial Services
Tristan Denmark, Special Assistant to the 
            Library Director

Call to Order
Acting Committee Chair Mario Payne called the meeting to order at 1:33 p.m. 

Amendment of Agenda
Committee Chair Swanson proposed amending the agenda to include the following items of new business: Joint Parking Lot Agreement proposal and schedule of future meetings. Trustee Celia Nass moved to amend the agenda as proposed. Trustee Steven Eagerton seconded the motion. Approved.

Public Comment
No members of the public asked to address the committee.

Approval of Minutes
Trustee Steve Eagerton moved to accept the minutes of the January 16, 2020 Finance Committee meeting as submitted. Trustee Celia Nass seconded the motion. Approved.

New Business - Monthly Financial Reports
Assistant Director for Finance Chuck McNeil reviewed the Library’s financial reports for the month ending January 31, 2020.  Director Rogers asked about the additional $119,217 for Conference Center; it does not show on this report. Assistant Director McNeil advised that it is accounted for on a separate report. Director Rogers inquired how far off track we are; Assistant Director McNeil advised we are at $194k for the past four months and we have until September to meet our goal. He stated that we have a couple of good months coming up. Director Rogers advised the Committee that the report they’re being given is a snapshot of this year; it doesn’t really compare to last year, so it can be tough to see where we are in comparison. He advised that we need to find a way to show a comparison. Assistant Director McNeil said that he would start comparing this year to the same time last year in the reports so it can be more easily seen if we’re trending up or down. Director Rogers advised we’re seeing an increase in circulation and a decrease in fines, perhaps due to digital materials. He also mentioned that the City does now own the property for the New Berlin Library, and there is $1.5 million in funding ready for design. There was also discussion by Director Rogers regarding applying for more technology-centered grants.

Unfinished Business
Southeast Branch shared parking agreement – Director Rogers handed out a car count average. He advised the Finance Committee that all they are charged with looking at is the amount of money the agreement will bring in and what it will cost. He advised that the Library has gotten estimates from Public Works on costs; the contract as it is proposed now says the Library will re-blacktop the parking lot every ten years. Public Works suggested we not do that; rather, have the lessee pay for any work that needs to be done and then simply adjust the amount the lessee is going to pay based on the money they put into it. Director Rogers stated that the project’s Developer Frank Keasler thought the City’s estimate to redo the parking lot and repair a culvert was high, and felt he could do it for much cheaper. Director Rogers also mentioned that any time he asks for additional information from Mr. Keasler, he doesn’t hear back. Director Rogers suggested perhaps the Finance Committee wait until the Governance Committee makes a decision. He said that from his perspective the Committees haven’t gotten enough information from Mr. Keasler. For instance, Mr. Keasler promised Director Rogers additional information by noon on Tuesday and it still has not been received. Director Rogers said he would not feel comfortable asking the Finance Committee for a decision without more information. He advised Mr. Keasler does plan to come to the next Governance Committee meeting. Director Rogers said the numbers don’t look bad, but 1) November through January is when we see the lowest library usage of the year, and 2) the six weeks during voting are an issue. Trustee Nass asked, “Knowing there is a repair that they’re requesting, and re-blacktopping; is any of that a current need for the library or is it for the developer’s aesthetics?” Deputy Director Mitchell said she doesn’t think the parking lot is in as bad a shape as some other branches; it might need new striping but not necessarily new blacktopping. Trustee Nass asked if this could be something to bring up to the Governance Committee, that the work would help fill a need. Director Rogers advised the culvert is an issue for the developer, not for the library. Deputy Director Mitchell advised she didn’t recall the SE parking lot having potholes or anything but restriping it might be nice. Director Rogers said he would communicate with Mr. Keasler and Director of Facilities Albury, who would be meeting with Public Works.
    Audit practices related to library funds – Assistant Director McNeil advised there is an internal JPL process that the library follows. Currently, all 21 branches are audited annually. Director Rogers stated that one of the things Trustee Swanson asked was how do we make sure the $36 million is being spent the way we think it’s being spent?
    Collection of library fines & fees – Director Rogers advised that this topic was asked to be carried over to this month at the January meeting because Deputy Director Mitchell was out. Deputy Director Mitchell advised the system the library currently uses is called Unique. She stated that for every $1 spent last year, we got $6 back; it’s a good ROI. Trustee Payne asked whether we are high or low in terms of ROI. Deputy Director Mitchell advised the ROI has stayed pretty stable and average. Regarding collections, she advised the library doesn’t send everything to collections; an account is only sent to collections if there are unreturned materials with a value of more than $20, and accounts are sent after the items are 60 days overdue. She advised that the main goal is to get the materials back.

Public Comment
No members of the public asked to address the committee.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:14 p.m.

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