Railroad Legacy Part Of Renovations At WML

By Jane Ernsberger
Times-Junction News Editor

The legacy of the railroad and its meaning to the City of Willard is part of the renovations at the Willard Memorial Library. As part of the renovations approved by the Board of Trustees for the Huron County Community Library, early photos of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad now hang on the stairway wall going to the children’s department.

At their January meeting, trustees also got to see the dedication plaque for the renovations that will hang on the main floor.

Doug Substanley will continue to serve as president of the board of trustees. Barth Gibson is vice president and David Hirschy is secretary.

Adam Searl was sworn in as fiscal officer for the year. Joshua Figley took the oath as deputy fiscal officer. Nancy Eldridge was sworn in for a new term as trustee.

Committee appointments included the following:

- Administration - Marie Walker chair, Barth Gibson and Doug Substanley;

- Building and grounds - Linda Chandler chair, Dave Hirschy and Doug Substanley, and

- Finance - Nancy Eldridge chair, Ruth Brown and Doug Substanley.

Laura Lee Wilson, director of the Huron County Community Library, told board members the North Fairfield location was closed from Dec. 27 through Jan. 3.

"It was an unexpected closing,” she pointed out. "The village had to replace the furnace.”

The old boiler was taken out and replaced with a gas furnace. Once the work was done, Wilson said the library was able to reopen. New hours began on Jan. 4.

"They had to rerun all of the ductwork so it looks very industrial right now,” Wilson pointed out. "The renovations that we did are going to need to be updated.”

Carpet, areas where radiators were removed and places in the wall that were removed for the ductwork will have to be fixed. Wilson said she will be in contact with the village as those are updated, but the building is consistently warm.

"We are grateful for the village’s willingness to replace that furnace,” she noted.

The punch list items remaining from the Willard Memorial Library renovations have mostly been addressed, Wilson told board members. A security key, flooring and blinds have been installed. There is still some artwork which needs to be hung.

Phone lines in Greenwich were down from Jan. 6 through 11. Wilson said Time Warner found that communication was coming into the modem. The problem was internal.

The branch librarian worked on the problem, Wilson pointed out. A return call was made to Time Warner saying no one knew what else to look at to fix the problem and a technician would be needed. The next day, however, everything was working.

Wilson said the Ohio Historical Record Advisory Board grant timeframe was completed on Dec. 31.

"It came to my attention when we were writing the summary, that we did not purchase an external hard drive that was intended to be purchased,” she pointed out. "I did mention the oversight in my final report and did place the order for the equipment.”

Wilson said the external hard drive being used at the present time is one that is the library’s. A new hard drive has been ordered.

In his fiscal report, Searl said the library did spend some money from the General Fund.

The balance in the General fund as of Dec. 1 was $783,739. Searl said the $58,563 in income was mainly from the Public Library Funds. Expenses totaled $91,516, leaving a balance of $750,786.

"We’re down about $100,000 from 2015,” he pointed out. "It was about $850,000 last year.”

The total account balance is $962,886. The following are the account activities:

- Capital Improvements - balance $107,620, income $6.22 in interest, expenses $57,339 for a balance of $50,287;

- Grant Fund - balance $2,673, income $0.12 in interest, expenses of $1,083 for a balance of $1,589;

- Willard Library Trust Fund - balance $32,092, income $3.96 in interest, no expenses for a balance of $32,096;

- Greenwich Trust Fund - balance $127,909, income $15.86 in interest, no expenses for a balance of $127,925, and

- North Fairfield Trust Fund - balance $200, income of $0.02 in interest, no expenses with a balance of $200.

Walker asked Searl about the outcome of the recent audit.

"We had some findings,” Searl said. "The big one was, and I was not aware of it but I am aware of it now, apparently rollbacks don’t count as part of the tax revenue.

"I had them input as tax revenue, and they’re supposed to be intra funds transfers from the state,” he explained. "We got ‘dinged” for that.”

A second problem stemmed from Searl allocating less than he should have in a different area. Neither caused the library to pay anything as a result of the errors.

"We didn’t overspend or anything,” he noted. "But, it was an input error. So we got dinged on that as well.”

Searl said he is now aware of those two problems. Going forward, the changes will be made.

In personnel matters, Wilson said Kassandra Leach was hired as Library Clerk I at the Willard Memorial Library. Her date of hire is retroactive to Jan. 6.

Trustees accepted the resignation of Kathy Dotson, effective Jan. 19. Wilson said Dotson had worked for the library for 10 years before retiring. She returned to work part-time in Greenwich as a housekeeper in August 2012.

Cody Smith has been hired to serve as an information systems technician, retroactive to Jan. 13. The position is part-time.

In talking about the statistics for last month, Wilson said there were down from those in 2015.

"We did circulate over 12,000 items total in the district,” she noted.

Wilson also told board members she has received several requests for using the community room at the annex. Two groups have asked to use the meeting room on a regular basis on the same day of the week.

"Every week,” she noted, "for a period of time that I felt was not in the best interest in the library. They wanted it to have regular two or three hour meetings every Tuesday in the middle of the day.”

Wilson told board members she may re-evaluate the idea but as it stands right now, because only a few people would be using the annex building.

There is no charge to use the community room. Wilson said people can use the room for individual events and not tie it up on certain days with meetings.

The annex building is available during hours the library is closed, according to Wilson. There is a way people can get and return the key.

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