City Council backs new Rhinelander District Library contract
Agreement requires approval of 5 municipalities
BY KEVIN BONESKE
A new Rhinelander District Library contract received the unanimous backing Monday of the full City Council
The new contract, which requires approval from all five municipalities in the library district before taking effect, includes a provision that calls for the cost of administrative services provided by the city – such as for accounting, bookkeeping and payroll services – to be charged to the district, rather than being provided at no additional charge as in the past. However, that provision also calls for the city to contribute an additional amount to offset those charges.
District 6 alderman Alex Young said including the administrative costs in the library’s budget doesn’t have a cash impact on the district or any of the member municipalities, except that it could have a minor effect of bringing in some additional revenue by increasing the reported cost per circulation and the related reimbursements.
“Other than that, the contract stayed pretty much the same,” Young said. “The funding formula stayed the same. And hopefully we don’t have to look at this thing again for another 10 years.”
Under the contract terms, the agreement would have to be reviewed at least once every 10 years, with modifications negotiated by the member municipalities, which include the city and the towns of Crescent, Newbold, Pelican and Pine Lake. Aside from the provision about administrative costs, the new contract has wording similar to the library district’s existing contract that took effect Jan. 1, 2006.
The funding formula in the new contract continues using a tax levy from the municipalities to pay for the library district’s operating budget, based half on each municipality’s respective ratio of equalized property value to the total value of all the municipalities and half on each municipality’s ratio of population to the total population of the district. The effective date of the new agreement is pending final approval of all five municipalities.
It also remains to be seen as to how those administrative costs will be calculated. Young has noted one possible way to do that could be based on a combination of the operating budget and the number of full-time employees. City finance director Julie Ostrander has asked the Finance Committee to have a future agenda item related to how to come up with determining the administrative costs.