Randall Town Board open to more discussion with Silver Lake over library building purchase

Photo by Sanja Gjenero via morgueFile.com

Photo by Sanja Gjenero via morgueFile.com

Randall Town Board members are open to further discussions regarding contributing funds to Silver Lake’s purchase of a building for a branch there of the Community Library.

Randall Town Board members got a report on the situation from Ken Mangold, a Randall representative on the Community Library Board and LeeAnn Briese, the library system’s director, at last week’s Town Board meeting.

Mangold, also a former town supervisor,  was blunt in describing his purpose for addressing the board.

“We are here for some money,” Mangold said.

The library, as a joint municipal library, cannot own real estate, but rather that ownership must reside in its members municipalities. The current branch in Salem is  owned by Salem while the Twin Lakes branch and current Silver Lake branch are rented.

The current Silver Lake branch building is small and in foreclosure, leading to uncertainty about its future availability, library officials have said. To replace it, the Silver Lake Village Board late last year unanimously approved purchasing a former daycare building at 209 Second Street, Silver Lake. (The propriety of how that purchase was executed is being questioned by some Silver Lake trustees, who have asked the county district attorney’s office to investigate.)

Mangold, citing his penchant for fiscal conservatism, told the board that it should nevertheless get behind contributing to the project, just as other municipalities endorsed the remodeling of the Twin Lakes branch, which services most Randall residents.

“If we want to have a (library) system that is viable … I think it would behoove this board to step up and contribute,” Mangold said.

Silver Lake library board members Sue Gerber and Mike Faber have said the idea for funding the purchase was to get each of the five member communities to contribute $50,000 — $200,000 for the building and property and $50,000 for renovations. Salem electors have already approved contributing $50,000. Twin Lakes, Paddock Lake and Randall have not agreed to a contribution. If no one else contributes, Silver Lake is obligated to pay the rest of the loan.

But Briese said the ultimate agreement between the municipalities that is being worked on right now may not have equal contributions. Silver Lake may have a larger share and others may pay based on something like assessed value.

Randall town Chairman Bob Stoll said he would like to see Randall able to contribute to the purchase through a lease back arrangement utilizing funds town taxpayers already pay to support the library.

Supervisors Randy Kaskin and Robert Gehring said they were concerned that a new Silver Lake branch might mean a reduction in hours and services at the Twin Lakes branch. Briese said reducing hours at Twin Lakes to operate the new Silver Lake branch is not planned.

Despite those concerns, Town Board members seemed open to further discussion with the library and Silver Lake.

“I think we are all willing to sit down and discuss this with Silver Lake,” Supervisor Lauren Fox said.

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Bernard Punsley says:

    Note to Randall Town Board: You just might want to wait and see how the pending “investigation” of the purchase of the Silver Lake library building pans out before you commit to an expenditure of this nature. There are a LOT of unanswered questions, so many, that the Silver Lake village board voted 5-1 to ask the DA for an investigation@ Remember, the SL village board is in Faber of the library, they just have too many unanswered questions at this time to fully commit. It’s the $50,000 question of the day!

  2. listening to Bernie says:

    Randall wants their very own library; not just the Twin Lakes branch. This is called greasing a palm.

    Village of Paddock might consider but that library board cooperative contract will have to be opened and reestablished before they will act.

    Town of Salem electors voted and gave their preference and guidance but the Town of Salem Board is the entity that decides to actually give the dollars. They didn’t. And, until they do, Salem is “Not on board” as Mikey Faber likes to bandy about.

    Finally, the Village of Silver Lake is teetering on insolvency. The ‘old’ village hall would make a very nice, centralized Silver Lake library location.

  3. Bullied in Silver Lake says:

    I sincerely believe that each of the 5 respective communities support the library system. The addition of the Silver Lake library would certain enhance the entire system. However, there appear to be some SERIOUS questions that need to be answered in Silver Lake before any community opens their wallets up. In our village, even expressing some concern about costs, how the building was acquired, who will share the expenses,etc. will get you instant ridicule and threats of “you don’t support the libary”. I cannot speak for the other 4 communities, only what we are experiencing here. Those of us that support the library but express concerns face the wrath of Mike Faber, Sue Gerber, and others. Why another community would want to face the same is puzzling. Remember, Mr.Faber is quoted as saying the other communities “are dragging their feet”. Maybe taking cautious “baby steps” would have been a more appropriate observation.

  4. Jeff S says:

    Randall better take a look at Sliver Lake. It could happen to Randall if it’s not careful.

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