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3 percent raises set for staff at library

Final hike will hinge on ’14 budget figures

– The Allen County Public Library board has planned for 3 percent raises for employee salaries in 2014, but there are no guarantees until the library gets the final budget later this year.

Last summer the board budgeted for 3 percent increases, but that was reduced to 2 percent when the budget was finalized in the fall.

A 3 percent raise for about 300 on the full-time staff and about 130 part-time employees would amount to about $375,000, library Finance Manager David Sedestrom said Wednesday.

The library board also reviewed the $26.5 million budget for 2014, up slightly from this year’s budget of $25.9 million.

The budget summary estimates that state-mandated caps on tax revenue will result in a loss of about $2.8 million, but Sedestrom said that before the library starts making cuts, it will need to wait on final tax revenue figures from the state and county, which could come as late as January.

Board members would like to know those final figures soon so they can start planning some long-overdue maintenance and renovation projects at various branches.

“We have been holding back on doing some projects that need to be done, and next year we need to get some of those under way,” library Director Jeff Krull said.

The library budgets about $700,000 a year just for routine maintenance and upkeep for the library’s 15 branches, Sedestrom said.

The board is expected to decide on any changes in staff salaries and benefits and finalize the budget in November.

Sunday hours

The board will investigate opening the main library in downtown Fort Wayne on Sundays next summer.

While the main branch is open noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays during the school year, it is closed on Sundays from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Krull said it would cost about $100,000 to open the library for the summer.

“With maintenance, expenses and staffing, it costs about $1,200 an hour to operate (the main branch),” Krull said.

The library staff will survey patrons and see whether there is a need for the hours before deciding on the matter, Krull said.