Library conducts budget hearing, welcomes new board member

The Jackson County Public Library board of trustees held a public hearing on the 2022 operating budget during their meeting Monday in the meeting room at the Seymour Library.

The $2,760,335 budget is an increase of just less than the 4.3% state growth quotient.

The notice to taxpayers is available at budgetnotices.in.gov. Anyone having trouble accessing the website may contact the library for help.

Library administrator Mary Reed went through financial reports and said 53.5% of the 2021 budget has been spent, meaning 46.5% of the budget is still available. The operating fund balance is $1,093,353.19, and the grand total of all funds is currently $1,527,457.97. The board approved those reports.

During his report, President Dan Davis gave each board member a self-evaluation and office/committee interest form to return to Director Julia Aker and nominating committee Chairwoman Sally Crouch by Oct. 18.

Julia Aker gave the director’s report, announcing the appointments of information services clerks, Hannah Couch and Linda Hacker.

Aker also discussed policy review and surplus items, many of which will be offered to other libraries because they are library-specific items.

“We don’t have more furniture on the list because of the $99,000 grant that we applied for. We are only getting $22,000 of that, so Mary and I need to rewrite for the amount they are willing to give us,” Aker said.

For the rest of the funding, the board discussed moving money from the library’s budget to cover the remaining cost of the furniture once the best possible price is found. The new furniture will be wipeable and easier to clean and sanitize.

The board also approved personnel appointments, changes to the programs policy and a list of surplus furniture, equipment and supplies.

Eunice Lacey, 81, of Crothersville also signed her oath of office to serve on the board through Dec. 31, 2023. She fills the unexpired term of Angie Keasler, who moved out of the library district, and who had been appointed by the Brownstown, Crothersville and Medora school boards.

“I knew Angie from when she was a secretary at Crothersville Junior-Senior High School,” Lacey said. “I worked at the school for 42 years in food services. Then the pandemic started and the doctors said it might not be a good idea for me to be around all the kids.”

Lacey worked in the cafeteria accepting the students’ meal payments for preschool through high school. The kids knew her as the “peacock lady” because she has a collection of peacock pins she would wear to school.

She said she enjoys to read, and during the pandemic, she read a lot of books, including some of James Patterson’s novels, many of which she rented from the Crothersville Library, because he writes good mysteries.

“I enjoy a lot of different authors and belong to the book discussion club at the Crothersville Library,” Lacey said. “We read a certain book. Then we’ll go and talk about it. I enjoy life, putting on my shoes, getting out and going places.”

She was married to Thomas Lacey, who is now deceased.

“He was a county councilman for 20 years and died of leukemia within just a few days, and I miss him,” Lacey said. “We have built onto my house, and now, my daughter and her family, we all live together. She has two children and her husband, so there are five of us, and everybody’s happy.”

The board’s next meeting, which will include the adoption of the 2022 budget, is at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Seymour Library, 303 W. Second St.