By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
The Madison County Public Library Board voted Monday to purchase two pieces of property, including a four-unit apartment building, behind its Richmond location for $270,000.
The building will be used for administrative offices and land around it will provide 23 additional parking spaces for library patrons as well as sheltered parking for the bookmobile, said board chair Ray DeSloover.
Owned by Dave and Denise Discepoli, the apartment building is located at 112 Fifth St. The purchase include a 15-foot wide strip at 114 Fifth St. that will serve as a driveway.
“I think this is a smart move for the library and for Madison County, DeSloover said. The new property “is going to give us plenty of parking places, and we’re going to be able to utilize the existing building there, which is in excellent shape,” he said. “So, I think we’ve made a wise decision.”
Closing on the property purchase is scheduled for Aug. 1, and library director Ruthie Maslin said she hopes to have the offices moved by December.
Maslin gave the board a report on the recent refinancing of several bonds used to finance construction of the library’s Berea location that will save the district thousands of dollars over the life of the bonds.
New bonds ware sold at 2.1 percent, 2.4 points lower than the previously, saving the library approximately $334,000 over the life of the bonds.
The board had been making plans to pay down much of the debt early before 2016, the first call date on the bonds, Maslin said, and the refinancing will allow it to reduce the amount even more.
“It is a smart thing to do financially, and it went along with the plans we already had to pay the debt down as quickly as we could,” she said. “By refinancing, we were able to pay down some of the principle early. We are paying down $750,000 of debt right now which significantly shortens the term of the bond and also creates this savings for us and the taxpayers.”
Carnegie Bank of New York, which currently holds the bonds, was the winning bidder and will serve as the escrow agent for the bonds.
In other business the board:
— Heard a report about a water line leak between the Berea location and the Berea Utilities water line that had to be repaired last week at a cost of $3,900. The leak was discovered after the library got an abnormally high bill for February. Berea Utilities has agreed to adjust the bill down after the repairs were completed.
— Received a letter from State Librarian and Commissioner Wayne Onkst congratulating Madison County for circulating more than 500,000 items for the first time during fiscal year 2012.
— Approved a motion declaring two items, a broken staff chair from the Richmond location’s teen room and a broken microwave, as surplus property
— Unanimously approved naming board member Jim Davis as treasurer.