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Village Stops Work on Library

 

August 6, 2014
The Village of Matteson has issued a stop work order to the Matteson Public Library because the library has failed to pay them an additional $24,000 on top of the nearly $36,000 that has already been paid the Village to cover costs incurred by Robinson Engineering for inspections. Earlier, the library had paid the Village of Matteson $3,080 to do plan reviews for the Village.

 

For the last fourteen months Library Trustees have tried to negotiate with the Village’s Trustees over their new policy of charging the village’s public library a fee for any building permits.  For 48 years, the library obtained a building permit when required to do so but no fees were paid as there is no Ordinance on the books authorizing the Village to assess a fee against government buildings.

 

Essentially, if such an Ordinance existed, it  would mean taking the money the taxpayers have paid for their public library and giving it to the Village of Matteson.

 

Now, even though there is no village ordinance addressing a permit fee structure for government facilities within the village, the Village has charged the library nearly $40,000 and has asked for $48,000 more but offered a 50% discount on this additional fee.

 

The Library Board of Trustees wanted to build a new building, but the Village’s financial standing would not allow it.  The library worked out a plan to put a small addition on the building and pay for it with the money that was being saved to furnish a new library. All funds for the new addition have to come from the library, without any additional taxes.  As the Matteson Public Library is a Village Library, any loans would have to have been obtained by the Village rather than the library directly. The library decided to use its own funds only rather than pay the higher interest rates that would be required by a loan to the Village.

 

The Building Services Department of the Village has claimed the building permit was ready for pickup on February 19, 2014, but refused to turn it over until the library paid them another $24,000. Letters from the Village President were received dated May 30, 2014 and July 25, 2014 stating that any permits issued going forward from May 30th date had to be paid for. And still, they have refused to turn over the permit.

 

Now, in spite of being told on July 21st that the library could not authorize such payment until their next Board meeting, August 11, 2014, the village has issued a stop work order on the construction; an action that will cost thousands more in taxpayer dollars.

 

Kathy Berggren, Library Director

 

Footnote: The Board of Trustees of the Matteson Public Library held an emergency board meeting on August 6th and agreed there was no choice but to pay, under duress, the $24,000 in order to continue the construction.  Failure to do so would have cost more than twice that amount.

 

The Library will now be launching a fundraising campaign to recoup the $24,000 that had been earmarked for new shelving and equipment.

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Your Library is Expanding This Year!

By the end of 2014, your Matteson Public Library should have available:

  • Two additional meeting rooms
  • Two study rooms
  • A conference room
  • A teen area where they can hang out with their fiction collection
  • A space for early learning for young children and their caregivers
  • A faster, convenient setup for checking items out and returning them
  • Improved accessibility to the building
  • A customer service desk with staff trained to help users navigate the library and easily access  our many resources and services
  • Easier access to non-print items
  • Increased parking spaces

Overall Construction Duration:  March, 2014 – December, 2014

How construction will affect parking

  • From April through November the parking area south of the exit will be closed off for construction.
  • In April, 20 new parking stalls will be added on the north side of the building.

 How construction will affect where you enter and exit the library

  • From April through November patrons will enter/exit at the northwest corner of the building in the youth services area.

How construction will affect emergency exits during construction

  • The emergency exit in Adult Services will remain open at all times.  The emergency exit in the youth services area will be closed temporarily during the ramp construction in late March/early April and a temporary exit will be provided.

March – April

  • Build a new ADA accessible ramp at Northwest corner and replace sidewalks
  • The main entrance will be temporarily relocated to this door while the building addition work is completed.

April – November

  • Create additional parking spots on the north side of the building.
  • Build the new addition where the current main entrance and courtyard reside.
  • The addition will include two new restrooms and meeting rooms in the basement, first floor conference room, first floor offices and study room along with a new entrance/lobby area.
  • New landscaping and sidewalks will be added around the new addition.

October – December

  • The main entrance will be reopened and interior renovations will begin.
  • The current technical services area will be reconfigured
  •  New workrooms will be built for both the youth and adult services areas.
  • An additional study room will be created
  • Carpet replacement and painting in various areas of the library.

What to look forward to
More space in the library
Refreshed areas of  the library
Improved circulation
Improved parking
refreshed landscaping

 

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