The library offers hotspots and Chrome books to check out for educational, job searching activities. Kim Bales completed her RN degree in December of 2022! When she couldn't make it to the library, Kim had access to a library Chromebook and hotspot at home that was made possible through a KDLA Work Force Grant and Emergency Connectivity Funding. It wasn't easy for Kim. Many times she brought her grandchildren with her to the library to study and continued to work while taking classes. It was difficult, but she did it! We are so proud of you, Kim! It is great to see library services put to use and making a difference.
At the regularly scheduled Trimble County Fiscal Court meeting on September 19th, Library Director Dena Ratliff Warren presented tax rates for the upcoming year. These rates include a property tax rate of 10.08 cents per $100 of assessed property, a tangible property tax rate of 11.55 cents per $100 assessed property and 4 cents per $100 for motor vehicle tax. The Library Board of Trustees adopted these rates during a regularly scheduled, open meeting on July 21st, 2022. These rates reflect a decrease in rates for the fourth straight year.
During the fiscal court meeting, Magistrate, J.D. Jones asked why library tax rates were so high. Ms. Ratliff Warren indicated that the library requires $600,000 - $800,000 annually in revenue to operate efficiently. She explained that the Library relies heavily on the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA) and the Department of Local Government(DLG) to set these rates, which is a complicated process.
Every year, Jill Mahoney, the Trimble County Property Valuation Administrator, assesses property values. These assessments are then sent to KDLA and the DLG to formulate a compensating tax rate that will provide the same amount of income as the previous year. KDLA then sends these recommended rates to library boards to set rates. Library Trustees can vote to adopt the compensating rate that will bring in similar income as the previous year, adopt a rate that is lower than the compensating rate that would bring less income than the previous year, or adopt a higher than that rate up to a 4% increase. A public hearing is required for a tax rate of 4% to be adopted.
Since 2018, Trimble Library Trustees have elected to decrease property tax rates by 1.82 cents per $100 of property assessed. They have elected to decrease tangible property tax rates by 3.36 cents per $100 assessed property since 2018.
During the fiscal court meeting, Magistrate, J.D. Jones also questioned the library budget for the year and pointed out that the library seemed to have an excess of funds with $1.4 million in cash on hand and an estimated $712,000 in expected revenue for the year. Ms. Ratliff Warren indicated that the library keeps 6-9 months operating cash on hand as recommended by KDLA. The majority of library income is received during October and January which requires the library to have cash on hand to operate during months when very little income is received. The library also has funds set aside for emergency repairs and for improvements or capital purchases.
Executive Judge, Todd Pollock, and Magistrate Kenny Green, commended the library for all the programs that are held for all ages and the the things they do for the community. Magistrate Jones acknowledged the library's work to help increase access to the Internet throughout the county. After much discussion, the fiscal court unanimously approved the library tax rates for 2022-2023 fiscal year.
Ms. Ratliff Warren thanked the fiscal court for their support and indicated that they will be completing long range plans this year and will be reaching out to community members and government officials to sit on a long range planning committee to provide input on where library reserves should be allocated.
Trimble County Board of Trustees president, Michelle Griffith commended Ms Ratliff Warren and her staff for doing an excellent job at keeping the Library programs and technology up to date with these ever changing times. She said, “We take great pride as a Board in being frugal with the people's money and very conscientious of keeping the taxes as low as possible while still offering the best services. I would challenge anyone to compare our Library to any in the region. We have one of the very best.”
Local families, library staff, and elected officials gathered Saturday at the Trimble County Public Library playground for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Library Director Dena Ratliff-Warren highlighted the work of the library board members and thanked local organizations for their generous support. Library Board members Dudley Lush, Michelle Griffith and Pam Watson accepted a plaque on behalf of the two library boards that oversaw the project. Ratliff-Warren outlined the library's plans for outdoor programs that will make use of the new pavilion and the playground. She also described the evolving role of libraries in the community and how the new outdoor spaces support the mission of the library as a place for families to connect and learn.
The ribbon cutting was performed by library regular Kimmee Wheeler, grandaughter of Kim Bales. Families spent the afternoon exploring the playground and interactive activities throughout the library. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was followed by the library's summer reading kick-off beach party.
June 4th at 1:00 p.m. the Trimble County Public Library will host a ribbon cutting for the new library playground. The ribbon cutting ceremony will be followed by the library Summer Reading kick-off beach party from 1:30-3:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend both the ribbon-cutting, and the summer reading kick-off. This will be an excellent opportunity to enjoy the playground, explore the library, and learn more about library programs.
Playground construction was completed in May 2022; however, the process took two years and involved the work of many library board and community members. Several years ago, the Board began considering the possibility of putting in a playground and talking with community members to gauge support. When COVID started, it became clear to library leaders that outdoor space for library activities was essential. Library board members including Michelle Griffith, Angela Anderson, Pam Watson, Dudley Lush, Bethani Johnson, Hannah Edwards, Keith Wagoner and Doug Salisbury and library Director Dena Ratliff-Warren worked to create a space that would be useful for library programs, and bring more families to the library. Adjacent to the playground is a pavilion that will be used for outdoor library programs, and can be used by visitors.
The playground is located behind the library and will be open during library hours to the public. Library membership is not required. Children under the age of twelve must have an adult present. No pets are permitted in the playground or pavilion. Entrance to the playground will be handicap accessible. The library plans to work on landscaping and improving accessibility to the playground throughout the summer months.
Trimble County Public Library staff members contribute to the blog.