Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Branching out Stretches Library Budget District to Borrow Now, Repay When It Gets Tax Money

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Branching out Stretches Library Budget District to Borrow Now, Repay When It Gets Tax Money

Article excerpt

Building two new branches and expanding a third will stretch the St. Charles City-County Library District budget this year but will leave the district in good shape to start a branch in the Heritage area of the county, a library official said.

The library district builds and operates the district from a single fund, rather than using a separate debt fund account, said Carl Sandstedt, district director. The district sometimes needs two or three years to finish paying off construction costs of some projects.

The district will fall about a month shy of paying construction costs and all operating costs for 1995, Sandstedt said. Trustees gave approval Monday for the district to borrow up to $1 million to meet payroll and other obligations in December.

The bank loan will be repaid when the district receives tax money in January, Sandstedt said. The district will likely have to borrow about $500,000, he said.

"It took us two years to complete payments on Corporate Parkway," Sandstedt said. "Now we're doing two and a half buildings in one year. That's pretty remarkable."

This year, the district opened Middendorf-Kredell and Deer Run in O'Fallon and expanded Corporate Parkway in Wentzville.

The money used to construct the sites this year will be used to operate those new facilities next year, Sandstedt said. The district will lack the financial flexibility to build another branch from one year's tax receipts anytime soon, but does have the ability to pay off a debt in a few years, he said.

"Our buildings are very inexpensive," Sandstedt said.

The district will continue the push to build another branch in the Heritage area, Sandstedt said. Trustees are narrowing possible sites, he said.

In other matters, trustees are also dealing with some loose ends with expansion of the O'Fallon area branches. James Blechle, president of Jayrich Corp., said the district owes one month's rent on a building used as a library branch in O'Fallon Plaza.

Blechle said Tuesday he had rented the district space in O'Fallon Plaza for nine years. The district renewed an option to rent each year until expansion plans became a reality, he said. District officials agreed to change the lease in August with the opening of Middendorf-Kredell on Highway K and the pending opening of Deer Run this fall in the northern part of the city, Blechle said. …

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