Mayor, board will discuss facilitiesThe agreement between the city of Jamestown and Stutsman County that governs the James River Valley Library System Library Board has specific requirements regarding facilities, the Library Board learned Tuesday.
By: By Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
The agreement between the city of Jamestown and Stutsman County that governs the James River Valley Library System Library Board has specific requirements regarding facilities, the Library Board learned Tuesday.
“Both buildings will operate as directed by the JLB (joint library board). If the JLB eventually decides on diminished use or discontinued use of one or both of the existing facilities, the JLB will devise a plan for transition to the new design,” states Section VII of the memorandum of agreement between the two governing entities.
The Library Board will meet with Jamestown Mayor Katie Andersen in an open meeting at 4:30 p.m. today at the Alfred Dickey Library to discuss the facilities issues that the JRVLS faces, along with possible solutions.
“I think we do need to insist that we do have a right and an obligation to discuss this,” said Joe Rector, library director. “Five, 10, 15 years down the road, we need to either have a plan for this building or else we’ve got to have a plan for something else. Otherwise it wouldn’t be prudent. It wouldn’t be honoring the agreement that constituted the joint library board.”
Issues with the existing Alfred Dickey Public Library and the Stutsman County Library include lack of space for books, technology, readers and parking, as well as keeping up with some aging facilities.
For example, replacing the control panel on the elevator at the Alfred Dickey would cost approximately $20,000, and it might not be possible to repair anymore due to lack of available parts.
In 2011, the City Council denied the Library Board permission to purchase the Essentia property, with the intent of eventually building a new library there.
That library was intended to encompass a single floor, reducing staffing costs, eliminating the need for an elevator, enabling the two libraries to consolidate and increasing room for technology, reading space and books.
Since the request was denied, the Library Board has continued to investigate other possibilities for addressing the libraries’ space issues, including purchasing a building adjacent to the Alfred Dickey Library and expanding that facility.
“We have looked at every available site,” said Judy Brueske, a member of the library board. “… so I feel like, as a board, we have tried to move forward, and we have not gotten anywhere.”
Brueske also said the board was “filled with responsibility for those tax dollars” and knows “where that money has to come from in the future.”
Another topic of discussion today will be the appointment of another person to the Library Board.
Currently, six people are members of the JRVLS Library Board, with three representatives of Stutsman County and two representatives of the city of Jamestown, as well as one board member agreed upon by both entities, leaving the board short one city representative.
During a Jan. 7 meeting, the City Council delayed appointing a person to the Library Board.
“I am concerned that the library is still moving towards a new building,” Andersen said at that time. “I have a concern with appointing anybody to a board that is not moving in the direction we want.”
The memorandum of agreement governing the Library Board states in Section II that a seat “shall be refilled by the appointing authority within one month of the office becoming vacant.”
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be
reached at 701-952-8453
or by email at