Cleveland Heights - University Heights Public Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights 7-20-20
JULY 20, 2020
- Public comments
- Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus financials
- Advance return
- Amend 2020 Appropriations
- Automated book sorter
- Bi-polar ionization units
- Library closure September 5
- Coventry Peace Park
- One Community reads
- DEI focus groups
Present were President James Roosa, Vice President Dana Fluellen, Patti Carlyle, Gabe Crenshaw, Max Gerboc, Annette Iwamoto and Vikas Turakhia.
Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus: Ten citizens, some of whom were volunteers or artists in residence with Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus, spoke in favor of maintaining the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus as an arts and non-profit organization. In addition, five statements submitted via email were read to the board; only one was in support of the library’s position (see next section). Representatives from several organizations urged the library to reconsider its position with respect to the Coventry building and its tenants: Ari Klein, Cleveland Heights Teachers Union; Shannon Morris, ARTFUL; Deanna Bremer Fisher, Future Heights and Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus board; Rachel Williams, ARTFUL board; Neil Martin, ARTFUL; and Robin Van Lear, artist tenant. Per the library’s usual policy in handling comments from the audience, the board will give careful concern and respond at a later date.
The board approved the return of the advance of $50,000 to the General Fund, which had been used to pay utility bills prior to receiving revenue from tenants at the Washington Boulevard (Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus) property
Amend 2020 appropriations
The board approved an increase of $27,965 for the electric bill through September 30, 2020 for the Washington Boulevard property.
Coventry Peace Campus financials
The library director reviewed the financial analysis and facility assessment report prepared by Jeff Henze, program manager, IFF. The report states that current lease rates project a deficit of $151,025 in year one of any new tenancy in 2020. A capital investment budget of $1,197,733 over five years is anticipated. A Letter of Intent requiring additional revenue and one governing entity was sent to the tenants on June 2, 2020, but was rejected. Another Letter of Intent sent June 30, 2020 also requires additional revenue and one governing entity plus a debt payment of $25,000 to start repayment of debt. The library director stated that the tenants have not shown the capability to provide the necessary revenue to pay for their continued occupation of the building. She further said that the library must deal with COVID-19 related budget cuts as well as its own community strategic interests for the benefit of the entire community.
Automated book sorter
The board approved an additional expense of $20,000 for installation of the automated book sorter at the Lee Road library.
Bi-polar ionization units
The board authorized a contract with Gardiner for HVAC Ionization Units compatible with existing HVAC systems at the Lee Road Branch at a cost of $41,191, at the HKIC building at a cost of $21,436, and at the University Heights Branch at a cost of $20,272, for a total cost of $82,899. This will improve air quality and lessen the spread of viruses such as COVID-19 and the seasonal flu.
Library closure September 5
Because the library is now closed on Sunday and Monday, the board designated Saturday, September 5, 2020 as a paid holiday for all employees. Library buildings will be closed.
Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park
This year, Heights Libraries will plan for improvements to the park and playground in the areas of safety, accessibility, and green space development, while preserving the integrity of the original vision for community gathering, inclusion, and play in a natural environment. Grant funding opportunities are being investigated.
One Community reads
Heights Libraries will once again participate in a county-wide reading program in 2020. This year the theme is social justice and will feature a line-up of nationally known as well as local authors. Monthly virtual author events will be held.
DEI focus groups
The Heights Libraries Anti-Racism Task Force has engaged the services of Compass Consulting Services, LLC, to conduct confidential virtual focus groups as part of a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) audit for the organization. Due to COVID-19, the confidential focus groups will be held via Zoom. The library’s goal is to gather information from not just current library customers who feel positively about the organization, but also those who don’t use the library, or who do use the library but may have had frustrating experiences with the institution. Links to register for focus groups can be found at https://heightslibrary.org/join-our-focus-groups-on-diversity-and-equity/
The next meeting will be held at the Lee Road Branch Library on Monday, August 3 at 7:00 p.m. During the COVID 19 pandemic, with restrictions imposed on public gatherings, board meetings are live streamed for the public and posted the next day on the library’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/heightslibrary/.
LWV Observer: Elizabeth M. Tracy.