Supervisors hear libraries’ budget request

Posted January 2, 2013 at 5:24 pm

by Steve Peterson

Plymouth County supervisors were expected to hear the 2013-2014 Fiscal Year budget request from Plymouth County Libraries at their Dec. 4 regular meeting.

The librarians are seeking an increase from the current year’s funding of $75,000 to the state average of $104,000 for rural services.

The Plymouth County FY2013 Rural Valuation is $786,185,933; FY2013 library funding was $75,000; cents per thousand, $0.10; rural population was 8,358; per capita, $8.97.

In comparison, Sioux County has a $702,670,386 FY13 rural valuation; $216,035 FY13 county Funding; $0.31 cents per thousand; 8,423 population and $25.64 per capita. Woodbury County has a $929,835,348 FY13 rural valuation; $185,726 county funding for FY13; $0.20 cents per thousand; 8,109 rural population and $22.99 per capita; and Clayton County, $550,672,231 FY13 rural valuation; $111,512 FY13 County Fund; $0.20 cents per thousand; 8,293 rural population; $13.45 per capita.

Sue Kroesche, Le Mars Public Library librarian, made the presentation on behalf of the Akron, Merrill, Remsen and Kingsley libraries group.

“I’m presenting the needs of the patrons in this changing technology. Some may say, ‘you can Google everything’ but people still use libraries. Our numbers are up a little bit. We have the traditional services like children’s programming, Summer programming, but also a lot of digital audio, data bases,” said Kroesche. Patrons also use the libraries for computer access and job searches, among many other uses.

Kroesche told the supervisors of a youngster from Kenya whose family had just come to the United States.

“The first place he went to at Le Mars Public School was the library,” said Kroesche.

“The average county funding for rural services for libraries is $103,000 and we’re asking that the county fund us at that level,” said Kroesche. “Libraries improve every community in Plymouth County.”

While worried about the impact on staff time at first, this has not been a problem, librarians said.

Akron Public Library Director Jeannie Frerichs and Board of Library Trustee Dotty Zales were in attendance.

Supervisors will consider the librarians’ request during Fiscal Year 2013-2014 budget discussions starting in January. Jan. 8 will be the first Fiscal Year 2013-2014 budget discussion in the afternoon, followed up on Jan. 22 and Jan 29 if needed.

In other agenda items:

• John Stevens, Live Healthy Iowa Outreach Coordinator, gave a presentation of the group’s 2013 program.

“Iowa has a 29 percent obesity rate and a 30 percent inactivity rate. It’s an epidemic of obesity,” said Stevens, urging support of the 10-week fitness challenge to encourage better eating habits and healthier choices, including signing up for teams and becoming team leaders as captains as part of the Live Healthy Iowa healthiest state initiative. Since 2002, 230,784 participants lost 925,639 pounds and have had 451,529,764 minutes of activity. For more information visit

According to the Central for Disease Control, the U.S. ranks 41nd in life expectancy. There are at least 20 diseases and/or conditions attributed to being overweight. A total of 470 million days of work is missed due to obesity-chronic illness compared to healthy employees.

The 10-week challenge is the centerpiece for county-wide wellness conditions and is a grassroots solution to chronic illnesses, said Stevens.

Road Projects

Terry Marienau, assistant to County Engineer Tom Rohe, was to present the weekly construction update. He said all of County Road C-38 is now open.

Winter Feed Lot

Supervisor Don Kass said the city, county and Le Mars Business Industry Cooperative attorneys are working on details of transferring the county’s interest in the land at 200th Street in Le Mars to the city.

“It has been for sale and we’re asking for $10,000 an acre and the city has agreed to take over the county’s interest at that price. It is 59 acres which is vacant now. The LBIC has the title to the land,” said Kass.

In informational reports, Plymouth County Auditor Stacey Feldman told the supervisors the State Department of Revenue has informed the county the Fiscal Year 2013 Local Option Sales Tax will be an estimated $1,028,536 est.

“We get a check monthly and a supplemental check in November. They are usually pretty close,” said Feldman.

Regarding an update on the election equipment the county is purchasing, Feldman said the discount for the old equipment will be $22,000 from Adkins, Inc.

The new equipment will be used for the 2014 elections. The present equipment was purchased in 2008. The new equipment cost is $118,713. A contract with Hendry Adkins, Inc., was on the Dec. 11 supervisors’ agenda.

Supervisors gave reports on the Iowa Association of Counties “fall school” which was held the week before in Des Moines. Also a Siouxland Metropolitan Planning Council (SIMPCO) session was held last week in Sioux City. Rohe was one of the presenters.

It was announced at an earlier ceremony that Sharon Nieman, the county’s Central Point of Contact-General Relief Director for Mental Health Services was the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Employee of the Month.

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