About $9,000 in computer software has made Lanark Highlands Township’s public library easier to run, but has also hit its bottom line hard.
“It has been a very trying year financially,” said Shannon Adams, treasurer of the Lanark Highlands Public Library board, during the committee-of-the-whole budget meeting on Monday, Dec. 3. Because of recurring problems with the book cataloguing program software, the library had to spend $9,000 on new software as their old software had been freezing.
“Our biggest challenge has been financial,” she said.
On top of this, grants from the province are late in arriving.
“We could not get the grants for these programs as we had hoped,” said Adams. “It is coming but it is very, very delayed.”
The library will need about $51,013.26 from the township, plus $3,759.56 from Drummond/North Elmsley and $2,643.94 from Tay Valley. The Civitan Club has also promised to do some fundraising for the library.
On other fronts, however, “2012 has been a very good year for the library. Our circulation numbers continue to be good,” said Adams, with a good cross-promotion program going on with the local youth club. The library has also tapped in to the Perth and District Union Library’s baby reading time story and literacy programs.
“Many people are not aware of all of the programs that we offer,” said Adams. “We should be doing more to promote our services.”
In the coming year, the library will boast more infrastructure investments like books, chairs, Wifi, shelves, carpets and paint.
“We have a great library to be proud of,” said Adams.
Later at the same meeting, the superintendent of public works, Dave Ennis, revealed that $50,000 had been set aside for winter maintenance on Coon Hill on Gemmill’s Road.
“Coon Hill, that’s a real problem with us,” said Ennis. “The sale trucks have problems getting up that hill.”
About $1.2 million has also been earmarked for the 2013 budget for French Line Bridge, which needs replacement by next year for safety issues. Ennis revealed that the environmental assessment (EA) needed on the bridge cost about $90,000 and would be good for two years. If the project in question was used after the two-year window, the EA could still be used, but would cost $5,000 to update. Mayor Peter McLaren said he believed that the EA’s were good for five years, but Ennis explained that with prices so much in flux, that prices from five years ago might not be applicable today.
“The truck in the Village of Lanark is starting to show its age,” said Ennis, which is why $65,000 has been put aside for a new one, but the plow equipment from the old truck is still good enough to be used on the new truck.
He also revealed that white lines on roads in White Lake will be painted next year. Ennis had also been looking at converting the street lights in some areas to solar, but “we couldn’t afford it. It was going to be very expensive.”
If Lanark Highlands does experience a rough winter, as some are suggesting, Ennis assured council that “the sheds are full now,” of road salt and sand. “We are at our max,” Ennis said.