No decision yet on Twin Lakes status with Community Library

Photo by Sanja Gjenero via

The Twin Lakes Village Board seemed poised Wednesday to withdraw from the joint Community Library system, but ultimately deferred a vote after some trustees raised questions and said they would like to see a more definite plan for transition in place.

Twin Lakes is currently one of five municipalities that jointly operate the Community Library. The library maintains sites in Salem, Silver Lake and Twin Lakes.

Since late last year, Twin Lakes has been seeking changes to the library’s governing contract that would have surplus funds return to the sites that serve the municipalities where the tax dollars originated from. But Library Board members from the other municipalities have shown little interest in changing the contract to accommodate Twin Lakes request.

Village President Howard Skinner opened tonight’s special meeting with a reading of a statement summarizing the issue so far and recapping a meeting from last month with representatives of all the member municipalities held in Paddock Lake.

“I recommend that we pull the wheels off the bookmobile and keep it in Twin Lakes…” Skinner said in conclusion, referring to a statement Paddock Lake library representative (and village president) Marlene Goodson made at a meeting in January, characterizing the Twin Lakes and Silver Lake sites as “glorified bookmobiles.”

Later in the meeting, Skinner did make a motion to withdraw from the Community Library. But during the discussion, some new and lingering questions arose.

Trustee Aaron Karrow made a bid to buy some more time so more facts could be gathered. For example, he wanted to have the operating budget developed by Trustee Sharon Bower and Library Board member Micheal Mahoney examined to be sure it was realistic.

Skinner estimated the village will have about $300,000 in tax and other revenue per year to operate its own library.

Trustee Thomas Connolly raised the issue of when tax revenue to operate the new village library would be available. Conceivably, the village might not have tax revenue to draw from until the beginning of its second year of existence.

Skinner eventually tabled his motion before it was voted on. He asked each board member to submit their key, unanswered questions so staff could seek answers. Then a meeting of the board’s Sewer, Health and Environment, Youth, Library Committee will convene and formulate a plan for moving forward to the full board.

Skinner said he would like the matter considered by the full board in March.

Note: My original post incorrectly listed Micheal Mahoney as a former Library Board member when in fact his current term expires in April 2013. Sorry about the mistake. — DH


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