Specific Purpose Excise Tax
Voters approved the Specific Purpose Excise Tax (SPET) May 4, 2010. The library has received $295,000, its portion of the tax. The library projects on the ballot included a new security and circulation system, parking lot improvements, restroom upgrades, microfilm equipment, carpeting and computer system upgrades. Unfortunately there were some cost increases for the projects since the original estimates in 2008 and 2009, but the State Land and Investment Board is providing additional funding for the parking lot and the public restrooms. The library and public are benefiting from the tax in several ways.
ADA compliant restrooms for the public are complete. For the first time, there is hot water in both restrooms and shelves in the stalls. This project costs $20,049. The State Land and Investment Board provided $13,750 of the cost. Marshall Contracting was the successful bidder.
The computer system upgrades had several parts. The library's servers are now in a spacious air-conditioned room of their own, away from the boiler, hot water heater, air handling unit, and floor drain. Arcon built the server room. In addition, the Specific Purpose Excise Tax purchased new servers for the server room, new software and new computers for the public, upgraded the wireless equipment, storage, and print management software/hardware. Lewan supplied most of the equipment. Expenses for the server room and upgrades totaled approximately $110,000.
We now have a new microfilm/fiche reader-printer that is easy to use, allows for downloading images to external drives and uses plain paper. It cost $ 8,699 and was purchased from e-ImageData Corp.
Partial carpet replacement; we replaced a third of the original carpet, installed in 1981, in the primary corridor, work areas, and staff offices. We have also recently replaced carpet in the public meeting room that is available for use by various organizations and groups.
The parking lot improvements are now complete. Hamaker Excavation was the successful bidder. The improvements include concrete valley pans for drainage, complete resurfacing of all parking areas, new curb and gutter in most areas, ADA ramps and additional parking in the east lot, and a new trash enclosure. The project cost totaled approximately $140,000 with SPET, State Land and Investment Board Funds, and matching contributions from the Library Foundation and Albany County.
The last project from the 2010 ballot:
New circulation system (RFID self checkout and security) – This project was finished and the kiosks are great! Many patrons find it easier to use especially if you are in a hurry. The kids figure it out fast! Bring your library card to the library and try it for yourself.
With the remainder of the SPET funds, the library purchased new staff computers. We did not get the highest quality or the connection type we had planned for, but the new machines work great.
The last of the SEPT funding has been used.