Archive for June, 2013

City Council June 10

13 Jun

These are my comments that were given on June 10.
City Council June 10, 2013
Good evening Mayor and Council,
On May 9, just one month ago now, the DeKalb Public Library received an unexpected notice that we were awarded the entire amount for which we were eligible– .64 % of construction costs.
This amount is
Previously we had been awarded $8,544,127.49.
Let me put that amount of money into context. In this one time only capital project for library construction, there was only $50 million. DeKalb Public Library received $11,659,453.05 cents. Why so much to us? This complicated and competitive grant gave every library in the state a number on a grant index. We were rated quite high—we had had no recent construction, a high poverty rate, not meeting fire codes, etc.
However, I would like to quickly relate a few highlights of the one meeting we had with the executive management of the Illinois State Library, The executive director, four other high-level directors were there as well as Nathan Maddux, Senior Legal Counsel to the State of Illinois. This is an enormous amount of money. Everyone in the room was very familiar with the grant application, the status of our library building on the National Register of Historic Buildings and the scope and design of the proposed expansion. Everyone was completely satisfied with the grant application, the approval of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and wished us well in our local fundraising.
I think in our own hometown we do not recognize the importance of our building at the national level. Our building is an Art Deco building and as our building consultant often states, as far as he knows, there are only three—Los Angeles Public Library, the Library of Congress and us. We are an even smaller window of Art Deco, Art Moderne and perhaps we are the only library that is Art Moderne.
Certainly, the building has been lovingly and carefully maintained. We have hired architects who respect that architectural statement and are reflecting that respect in their complementary addition.
This difference of $3,085,326 will enable us to build and renovate in one phase instead of dividing the project into two phases as we discussed with you previously. The return to the original project as submitted in April of 2011 will save us escalation costs according to our construction experts of perhaps a million dollars.
The three local banks met and previously having each examined our books and structured the loan to be repaid through our current operating funds if private philanthropy does not meet our goals, all stepped forward to cover the additional amount needed. No further costs will go to the taxpayers.
With a very preliminary call for donors, we immediately raised over one million dollars in pledges and cash. Certainly, our fund raising efforts will go into high gear as soon as the contract with the State is signed.
The project has not changed at all. We simply have over $3 million more dollars to fund it.
We are grateful to the vision of Jacob Haish, Sven Parson and the Board of Trustees of 1930, to the Mayor and Council of 2012/2013, to the current Board of Trustees who have been working on bringing 21st century library services to our city since 2007, to the Secretary of State, Jesse White, who has worked tirelessly to fund public libraries, to Representative Pritchard who has always advocated for public libraries, and to the Illinois State Library and its representatives who have made this dream possible with full funding of our project.