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Maintenance contracts cut as library budget increases 3.3 percent

October 27, 2010
With the Gilford Library's budget up 3.3 percent, the Department of Public Works will be stepping in to help the library save on landscaping and maintenance services.

A Belknap Mountain Landscape contract has been deleted from the library budget, which comes in at $433,371. The Gilford Department of Public Works will step in and provide maintenance for the irrigation system, as well as landscaping and flowers on building grounds.

Town Administrator Scott Dunn said DPW would now blow the lines of the irrigation system so the pipes do not freeze in the winter months.

Budget Committee member Fred Butler asked who would be in charge of keeping vegetation alive.

"Is there a long term plan to make sure whatever is planted won't die?" asked Butler.

Dunn said the DPW will also maintain library landscaping.

"We couldn't add to a budget that we are cutting and had to pass this down to building and grounds. Though the quality may not be as great, there is no money in the budget for it," said Dunn. "We are certainly not casting any disrespect on them, but even though they are busy, this will fall under their realm."

In the next year or so, Dunn said, more DPW staff may be needed in order to provide similar services to the town, rather than hiring outside companies.

"It's worth testing out for a year," said Budget Committee Chair Dick Hickok.

The two biggest items causing the library budget increases are electricity costs, which jumped from $13,000 to $20,000 due to a transferring of building costs to the budget, and a new cleaning service for $5,900.

Wages and benefits are up .2 percent. The requested 200 hours for substitute workers was cut down to 80 hours.

Selectman representative Gus Benavides clarified that these hours are "not to hire new employees" but to raise funds for additional part time helpers already on staff.

"This is so the library director can do her job," said Benavides. "We can't have her manning the entire library herself. It's not possible."

Approximately $2,000 sits in the technical assistant budget, as well as $500 each for two new computers.

A security camera was also requested in the budget for a corner of the library that staff members have a hard time keeping an eye on, which results in minor problems from time to time.

Carpet cleaning has been deleted from the budget for now, although Butler said this would have to be added into the budget at some point, since it cannot be ignored for years at a time.

Littleton Chmber
Varney Smith
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