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Budgeting for Uncertainty in the Midst of the Pandemic

The Library Board of Trustees is considering a budget for the new fiscal year which begins on July 1, 2020. This budget is full of all sorts of numbers which explain how the Library plans to operate over the next twelve months but the most important thing in the budget isn’t even a number; it’s uncertainty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Uncertainty is woven into the majority of numbers as we try to determine how, what, where, when, and who of reopening the Library and increasingly making programs, services, and materials available to patrons. The overall result is that the Library’s total operating expenses are less this year when compared to last year’s budget by nearly $550,000. There are less salary and salary-related costs, less general and administrative costs, and fewer library material costs to name a few. At $5,904,466, this operating budget is only $2,000 more than the 2014-2015 budget from six years ago.

The Library Board is also considering spending a little over $1,600,000 on capital projects out of the Special Reserve Fund. (These projects are not part of the tax levy.) Several of the projects have been carried over from last year. The biggest project is the roof replacement project.

All of the budget specifics may be found here in ORDINANCE 20-02 TENTATIVE ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR BUDGET AND APPROPRIATIONS OF THE NILES-MAINE DISTRICT LIBRARY, COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR BEGINNING JULY 1, 2020 AND ENDING JUNE 30, 2021 which was adopted by the Library Board on June 10, 2020. The next time the Library Board will discuss the budget will be at the Public Hearing on the budget where members of the public may comment. This is scheduled for July 15, 2020, at 6:55 p.m. The final budget will be voted on at the Regular Board Meeting, following the Public Hearing.

These meetings will be held on Zoom. Meeting details and how to access the meetings will be posted on the Library’s website prior to the meeting.

Greg Pritz
Assistant Director/Business Manager

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