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Library holding $5 million for capital projects

Staff report

No major capital improvements are planned for the McCracken County Public Library, though a sizable reserve fund has been built up for future costs.

Library Board Chairman Mark Link reported at a public hearing Monday night that the library's operating budget is about $3 million and its reserve fund totals $5 million. That raised a question in some people's minds about what the library plans to do with the $5 million. 

The reserve fund has grown and reached its current level two or three years ago, Link said. He said the state requires libraries to maintain at least one year's worth of operating expenses to remain certified.

The reserve fund is for capital expenses, Link said, although the library has no plans for any facility projects. Rather, the library building is likely to need improvements years from now, such as upgrades to the elevator and roof.

Link said the reserve fund could also go toward offsetting operating costs in future budget years because property tax revenues are expected to decline.

"It certainly would not be our plan to do that," Link said. "But that is not outside the realm of possibilities should our tax base reduce our tax revenues."

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