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Library submits 2016 budget to city
Bill King elected library board president
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Great Bend Public Library Director Harry Willems has submitted a 2016 proposed budget totaling $739,600, requesting $640,000 from the City of Great Bend.
When the GBPL Board of Directors met Monday afternoon, Willems encouraged members to attend the Great Bend City Council meeting later that evening. Representatives from agencies that submitted 2016 budget requests were to meet with city council members after the regular council meeting.
The library’s projected expenditures for 2016 are exactly $100,000 above 2014 expenditures. Line items remain at the 2014 level, with the exception of a $100,00 loan payment for the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. Last year’s budget did not include that HVAC loan payment.
Projected expenditures include $484,500 for personnel and $110,800 for central administration, the same as in 2014. Other line items: $21,500 for reference/acquisitions, $3,500 for young adult (YA) services and $8,500 for children’s services.
Willems acknowledged that actual expenditures in 2015 sometime exceed those amounts. For example, the YA department spent $12,425 in 2015 and the children’s department spent $16,000. He said that could be due to grants and donations received this year. (For example, a grant allowed the library to hire three YA summer interns. They began working on June 1.)
Income from the city mill levy was $625,000 in the 2014 budget. Other sources of income include, but are not limited to, state aid, grants and interest.

Crunching numbers
At the library board’s May 11 meeting, the budget went unapproved after Willems said numbers in the 2015 column needed to be corrected. The board voted to postpone action on the 2016 budget until the 2015 column was corrected. However, Willems noted that the 2016 budget needed to be submitted to the City by May 29. He said he would correct the document and then have a special meeting to vote on the 2016 budget.
The Great Bend Tribune attended the May 11 meeting and the June 15 meeting, but was not notified of a special meeting. Willems told the board on Monday, “We did vote on the budget after I got the 2015 fixed up.” The “City of Great Bend Agency Request Form” was submitted on May 27.

Board election
Action taken by the board on Monday, June 15, included GBPL board elections. Dr. Bill King was elected president; Derinda Bussman, vice president; Rose Kelly, secretary; and Bob Button, treasurer.
A presentation of the Safe Child Policy, that was postponed to the June meeting in May, was postponed for another month as library staff have been busy with the summer programs. Children’s Services Supervisor Dayna Ball described attendance this month as “explosive.” At last week’s Ninja Day, for example, 180 children attended.
The next board meeting is set for 4:45 p.m. on July 13 in the Dane G. Hansen Media Center, located in the basement of the library.