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Commission wants in
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Wednesday, 26 March 2008 13:12

With a nonprofit corporation being formed to raise money for a new library, what role does the Camp Verde Library Commission play?

It was a question the commission took to the Town Council last week in a discussion of how the nonprofit could potentially work.

Some of the commissioners told the council they felt like they were being left out of the loop.

Mayor Tony Gioia told them to remember that everyone’s ultimate goal was the construction of a new library, and that commission members should feel comfortable raising money anyway they can.

Linda Harkness, an officer of the forming corporation, told the library commission that she welcomed its involvement in the nonprofit and stressed that she wanted to work together, not face off as adversaries.

While the town could raise money to build a new library, there are limits on what a government can spend before it triggers certain requirements under state law. The town can spend a maximum of $250,000 on architectural services and $500,000 on engineering costs. A penny more and the town would be required to start a bidding process between contractors vying for a project.

While a nonprofit would likely put out a bid request just to keep prices competitive, Harkness said she thinks a nonprofit could get additional cost savings from a contractor than the town government — savings possibly as much as 15 percent.

Just because the town could theoretically spend $750,000 on a library, it’s doubtful that architecture or engineering costs would be that much on a project of this size.

Nor does it mean, as Gioia pointed out, that the town would have anywhere close to that much money available for a library.

There’s also the question of what role the nonprofit would play in the future operations of the new library.

Would it manage it as part of the contract to raise money and get it built? The library commission questioned where that would leave library employees who currently work for the town.

This and other questions made it clear that there’s a lot to work out until there’s enough money to actually build a library, something that could take years.

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