Library will use grant for bookmobile

Wood County District Public Library Trustees planned for the future this morning, while keeping one eye
on state budget developments in Columbus.
Trustees decided to move ahead with the purchase of a new bookmobile, using a dedicated state grant and
funds from the Wood County District Public Library Foundation.
There was also discussion about Gov. Ted Strickland’s Friday proposal to cut state library funding by 50
percent in an effort to help balance the 2009-2011 state budget.
"This feels somewhat awkward," said Library Director Elaine Paulette. "I hope that the
public understands that we are using a state grant that cannot be used to operate the library. It has to
be spent this year. At the end of the day, the bookmobile will be a very effective way to help people
out in the county."
Paulette said she thought it would be premature to make other budget decisions until the state budget is
reality. She said there has been "an uprising" locally and across the state about library
funding. "We are not looking to be exempt from the cuts but public libraries are part of the
solution. We are part of the economic recovery."
Board President Brian Paskvan noted: "This has been in the works for years. The timing is not
wonderful with the budget situation and this is not something we thought about yesterday and buy
today."
The present bookmobile dates to the mid-1980s.
Trustee Scott McEwen recommended the purchase after detailing the work of a committee that spent many
months preparing specifications for the vehicle.
Tesco, a firm based in nearby Oregon, is the primary contractor, with Coachman, an Indiana firm, and
Auragen, a Georgia firm, the other contractors. The cost is $160,253, but may increase by about $10,000.
The extra amount would be spent to convert the engine to be powered by compressed natural gas.
The state grant covers $95,000 and the foundation has set aside $105,000 for the project.
McEwen said the only other bid that met WCDPL specifications was $80,000 higher.
McEwen said that Steve McEwen and Tony Palumbo "have been very innovative and creating the
specifications" to provide a vehicle that looks to the future.
The vehicle will be based on a Chevrolet bus chassis and the engine will also power a generator that will
charge batteries to provide lighting, heating and air conditioning, without running the engine while the
bookmobile is stopped to serve patrons.
The natural gas conversion will be done if one of the vendors can be qualified for a tax credit program,
since the library is a non-profit and does not qualify. A refueling station would be built into the
garage where the bus is kept at the library.
The vehicle will be ADA compliant, be easier to roll carts of books on and off, use airbag suspension and
at three feet longer, will fit in the garage space.
"We are really excited about it. I can’t say enough about the work of the committee. They’ve put in
a lot more hours than I’m aware of," Paulette said.
Trustees also:
¥ Learned a garage sale fundraiser organized and largely stocked by Mark and Debra Manley of Heritage
Corners raised about $5,000 for the foundation.
¥ Heard the Buy-A-Book campaign started this spring has brought in more than $3,400.
¥ Learned that participants in the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure made good use of the library Tuesday, and
staff heard several compliments about the facility.
¥ Learned that starting Sept. 1 all overdue notices will be sent via e-mail. Staff will ask patrons to
verify e-mail addresses when checking out books. Reminders about due dates are already sent via e-mail
three days in advance.