A Solano County Grand Jury report states that the Dixon Public Library District has little to show for its $2 million investment in its new library project.
The results of the Grand Jury report (attached to this story) find that the District’s decision to build a new library has crippled its finances.
Overall, the District’s assets have decreased by $34,554 in 2009, $33,391 in 2010 and $38,788 in 2011.
The report states that to date the Library District has spent more than $2 million derived from General Fund building reserves and a separate Building Fund.
The money went towards pre-construction fees including the purchase of land for $427,000, an environmental survey for $110,000, conceptual plans at $85,000, additional land for the project at $1.1 million and other costs associated with the pre-construction of the library.
While the economy was in downturn, the Grand Jury report said that the Library District went ahead with its plans to build a new library. The District is funded in two ways – a General Fund, used for the operation of the library (which includes a building reserve), and a Building Fund.
Established in 2004 to help pay for the new library facility, the Building Fund’s revenue comes from new construction projects and development within the district. Those funds cannot be used for anything other than to “defray the costs associated with property acquisition, site preparation, design, construction, and equipping libraries within the (Dixon Library) District,” according to the California Government Code.
As of June 30 the report states that the Building Fund balance is $43.26. In addition, the General Fund’s building reserves are at 12 cents. Since 2008, the amount in the General Fund has decreased by 63 percent, or $961,305. As of the report's findings, the General Fund contains $563,370.
To help facilitate the construction of the new library, the District was in the process of developing a bond measure, but it failed to materialize.
“To date, the District has spent more than $2 million on pre-construction costs for a new library; however, the District has no money to actually build the facility.”
Funding for the library has been in decline due to the downturn in the economy.
The report read: “The District is dependent on sales and property taxes for more than 80 percent of its revenue. From June 30, 2009 to June 30, 2011, District revenues from sales tax decreased by 17 percent ($101,339). During the same period, revenue from property tax decreased by eight percent ($22,990).”
The Grand Jury also stated that if voter-approved Measure B funding (a one-eight percent sales tax increase) that accounts for 50 percent of the District’s revenue was not extended, the District’s finances would further be crippled. However, last week, the voters of Solano County
The report also states that the audit of the library’s finances is not done in a timely fashion. It recommended that the library’s Governing Board require that future audits be completed no less than 180 days following the end of the fiscal period in order to avoid larger financial problems. The last audit of the finances occurred over a year after the closing of Fiscal Year 2009-2010.
In addition the report recommends:
- The Governing Board develops a financial paln to address the decline in net assets and cash.
- The board coordinates with the County Director of Library Services to determin the economic benefit and viabiuty of joining the Solano County Library System
- And develop a plan of action if the sales taxes that account for more than 50 percent of the funding is not passed by voters (which has been passed through Measure L)
A response by the DPL Governing Board of Library Trustees is required and we will publish it as soon as it’s available.
Should the library district proceed with plans for the new library? Would you for a bond measure to help fund it?