BARRY’S BAY – The finance committee met for their scheduled meeting on the morning of January 31.
Barry’s Bay & Area Public Library CEO/Head Librarian, Karen Filipkowski was in attendance in order to present the 2013 budget request to the committee.
“As outlined in our letter…we are requesting an additional $6,109 and $3,500 for capital purchases,” Filipkowski explained.
The library is asking for a two per cent increase in their wages, as well as an additional two open hours at the library per week.
“The hours that we are looking for are to cover some additional staff working time… There is limited work space. It’s very difficult for staff to do things like book processing. We just don’t have a work surface,” she added.
The employees are currently using the public tables, and are working around the number of people using the space throughout the library`s open hours.
Filipkowski is requesting that the library staff remain at the library for some time after closing in order to complete the work that is needed to be done.
The library is also looking for additional time for staff meetings.
“The capital purchase, as I mentioned in our letter, is for a new photocopier,” Filipkowski said.
The library currently has several printers, but the toner is expensive.
The photocopier they have at this time is on its last legs, and is in desperate need of parts.
According to Filipkowski, the library has seen an increase in the number of users, in both their physical and digital books.
“The library usage is up; our book circulation shows that… But we have also had an increase in e-book circulation. I think we are reaching a broader audience now that we have the e-book capability.”
The St. Francis Memorial Hospital Foundation (SFMHF) recently attended a council meeting in order to present their information and request for the support of the SFMH Foundation Family helping Family Campaign.
“At the last council meeting we had members of the SFMHF under the Family helping Family Campaign come and present to council, and we received this letter in response,” Committee Chair Linda Neuman said.
In the letter, the members of the campaign asked for the Township of Madawaska Valley (MV) to commit a total of $10,000 per year for the next five years, and that this request will be added to the township’s annual budget commencing in 2013.
This amount will be equivalent to one cent, per day, per MV household.
“There is a lot to consider,” Neuman said, adding that during the presentation she had several items on her mind concerning the items they needed to take into consideration.
“First of all, is it council’s mandate to tax residents to donate money to a foundation? Do we do that? Or are we supposed to provide the services for the township. So, that was one thought that ran through my head.”
Neuman then reminded committee that there is another large health facility within the township, and that if they provide the SFMHF with funding, the Valley Manor may expect the same.
“I know that with [the] Valley Manor they are looking at some restructuring… If they come to the table and look for funding, are we prepared,” she questioned.
“It is another vital employer for those living in Madawaska Valley,” Neuman stated.
Another item that needs to be considered is when another council is elected, and whether or not the current council should commit to future endeavours.
Committee member Bob Kulas explained that many of those moving into the area have taken a liking to the fact that a hospital is within the township limits, and that taxing the community for that from the budget, for economic development, was the best option.
“If we use it and switch it around as an economic development strategy perhaps it would be more meaningful,” he said.
Kulas also explained that past councils have committed to things such as this before in the past, so this shouldn’t be an issue.
He also stated that the Valley Manor is a different set-up from the hospital, and that they will be looking to the provincial government for funding in the future, to his understanding.
Story continues in the February 6, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette.