Category: The Library

Maywood Library Will Be Debt-Free This Year, Says Director; Super High-Speed Internet Access Coming Soon

Maywood LibrarySaturday, May 9, 2015 || By Michael Romain

MAYWOOD || Nearly two years after the Maywood Public Library temporarily closed its doors due to a lack of operating revenue, Stan Huntington, the library’s executive director, has announced that the institution is on track to be debt-free this year. Huntington delivered the optimistic news at a special meeting of the Proviso Township Ministerial Alliance Network, which was held this morning at Proviso Baptist Church, 1116 S. 5th Avenue.

Huntington’s most recent forecast is about a year ahead of the one he made last October, when he said the library could be debt-free by mid-2016. At the time, Huntington said the library owed about $300,000 to Seaway Bank.

In October 2013, the library was forced to close its doors due to a lack of operating cash on hand to pay staff and maintain building operations. Library officials blamed the chronic shortfall on a precipitous loss of property tax revenue and a debt burden stemming from the financial costs of building its gleaming $8 million annex in 1998.

The library had borrowed money to pay down capital bonds necessary for the annex’s construction. In 2012, those bonds had been paid off completely, but the cost of that borrowed money remained. A significant chunk of the library’s revenues were dedicated to paying down borrowing costs, leaving little for operating costs.

After pressure from local residents and officials, such as Mayor Edwenna Perkins and State Rep. Chris Welch (D-7th), Seaway Bank extended for another 12 months the terms of repayment on about $500,000 the library owed on a short-term tax anticipation note. It also lent another $150,000 to the library.

Now, the library is primed for another infusion of cash. Funds from the recently expired St. Charles Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district will be used for various capital projects, said Huntington.

The library’s basement may be excavated to improve the foundation of the 110-year-old Carnegie Building, which faces 5th Avenue. Maywood’s Carnegie Building is one of the last functioning Carnegie buildings in the United States, said Huntington.

Huntington also noted that in about a week, workers will have finished installing super high-speed internet throughout the building. The improvement should be a boon to the many people Huntington said run their businesses from the Maywood facility.

“We’ll be here to serve the community another hundred years,” said Huntington. VFP

Maywood Library Board Vice President T.C. Brunious Passes Away

TC BruniousBrunious, far left, with Library Board President Rose Mosley (center) and Jose Galarza. Photo courtesy Maywood Public Library.

Thursday, December 4, 2014 || By COMMUNITY EDITOR

T.C. Brunious, the vice president of the Maywood Public Library District’s Board of Trustees, died last Saturday evening from natural causes. According to Rose Mosley, the Library Board’s president, Brunious had battled a series of illnesses for some time.

“She had been ill off and on for several years and I guess this was the culmination of a lot it,” said Mosley.

Mosley described Brunious as happy and jovial — an old-fashioned woman who believed in home-cooked meals, a spotless house and an exquisitely landscaped garden.

“She kept flowers in the front and back of her house without fail. She was avid about that,” Mosley said.

Services for Brunious will take place this Saturday, December 6th, at Miracle Revival Center, 2010 St. Charles Road in Maywood. The viewing will be held from 10 AM to 10:30 AM, and the funeral will begin immediately afterward. The repast will also be held at Miracle Revival. VFP

One Year After Closing and Re-Opening, Maywood Public Library on Track to Being Debt-Free

Cook County Recorder of DeedsMaywood Library Building

Thursday, October 30, 2014 || By Michael Romain || Updated: 2:00 PM

Executive Director Huntington says Library hopes to be out of debt by mid-year 2016

Last year around this time, the Maywood Public Library was closed. The venerable institution had experienced a shortfall in operating funds due to a drastic reduction in property tax revenue and a debt burden stemming from the financial costs of building its gleaming $8 million annex in 1998.

But even then, library officials — notably Executive Director Stan Huntington — insisted that, despite a lack of cash, the library’s underlying financial foundation was nonetheless pretty strong. In fact, paradoxically, the library’s closing was, in part, caused by the fact that so much of its annual revenue was being allocated toward paying down its debt.

After pressure from local residents and officials, such as Mayor Edwenna Perkins and State Rep. Chris Welch (D-7th), Seaway Bank extended for another 12 months the terms of repayment on about $500,000 the library owed on a short-term tax anticipation note. It also lent another $150,000 to the library, which the board believed at the time would be enough to continue operations through the spring of 2014.

One year later, Huntington’s evaluation seems close to being vindicated. Unlike so many taxing bodies in the area, the village included, the Maywood Public Library, which levies its own taxes, has a pension fund that is, according to library officials, virtually 100 percent funded.

In comparison, Maywood’s police and fire pensions have funding ratios of only 33 and 36 percent, respectively. A recent analysis by the Better Government Association (BGA) named Maywood’s police and fire pension systems among the ten most troubled in suburban Cook County — with those of Melrose Park included on that list.

With the mortgage paid on the $8 million addition, the only debt that the library currently has is about $300,000 in money owed to Seaway bank — an amount Huntington believes should be paid down in the next few years.

“We will be out of debt, if all goes well, in 2016 — hopefully by mid-year,” he said. “The other debt you have outside of capital debt is employee liabilities. In this case, ours are zero. That puts the library on really good footing.”

That said, however, Huntington was careful not to overstate the library’s financial forecast, which is intimately tied to the general economic vitality of the village itself.

__ MORE AFTER THE NOTIFICATION __

NOTICE OF PROPOSED PROPERTY TAX INCREASE FOR MAYWOOD PUBLIC LIBRARY DISTRICT

I. A public hearing to approve a proposed property tax levy increase for the Maywood Public Library District for 2014 will be held on November 5, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. at the Library, 121 South Fifth Avenue, Maywood, Illinois.

II. The corporate and special purpose property taxes extended or abated for 2013 were $1,466,767.59. The proposed corporate and special purpose property taxes to be levied for 2014 are $1,895,500.00. This represents a 29.2% increase over the previous year.

III. The property taxes extended for debt service and public building commission leases for 2013 were $0.00. The estimated property taxes to be levied for debt service and public building commission leases for 2014 are $0.00. This represents a 0.0% change from the previous year.

IV. The total property taxes extended or abated for 2013 were $1,466,767.59. The estimated total property taxes to be levied for 2014 are $1,895,000.00. This represents a 29.2% increase over the previous year.

BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF LIBRARY OF TRUSTEES OF THE MAYWOOD PUBLIC LIBRARY

__ MORE BELOW __

“I don’t want people to think the library is rolling in money — that’s just not true,” he said. “We’ve lost a lot of money. Our EAV [Equalized Assessed Value] has tanked to the point where we can’t get that back. The library’s income has dropped by about half-a-million dollars, which is very substantial. Maywood’s property values have decreased substantially. That’s hurting the village, it’s hurting the schools, it’s hurting everybody.”

Huntington said, short of substantial industrial or commercial development taking place in Maywood, it could be well into the next decade before the village begins to recover some of that value.

In the meantime, he said that the library is trying to capture as much tax value as it can before the St. Charles TIF district expires on December 31, this year. The village effectively ended the TIF last year, but opted to pay into it for an additional year.

Recently, library officials put out a notification announcing a public hearing to take place at the library on November 5, at 6:30 PM, in association with “a proposed property tax levy increase.”

“The proposed corporate and special purpose property taxes to be levied for 2014 are $1,895,500.00. This represents a 29.2% increase over the previous year,” according to the notification, which was published in a recent edition of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Huntington explained that that figure is arbitrarily high, since he doesn’t know how much the EAV will be in 2014 — and the village, for whatever reason, isn’t telling. With the December deadline looming, however, he noted that he had to put something out in order to take advantage of the expiring TIF valuation.

__ MORE AFTER THE AD __

SEE MAYWOOD FINE ARTS’S OWN AT THE LYRIC OPERA HOUSE

Maywood Fine Arts Porgie and Bess

He said that residents shouldn’t interpret this as an increase in the amount of property taxes they pay to the library, since the library’s portion of tax revenue is capped at a certain figure by Cook County.

“As a practical matter, the average resident won’t see any change in their tax bills at all,” Huntington said. “Not with the Maywood Library, at least, because we’re tax-capped and we’ll be dropped back to whatever the cap allows.”

Huntington noted that this may not be the case for the village, which isn’t subject to the cap.

“Maywood is a home rule community, so they can tax at whatever they want,” he said. “There’s no limit to what they can tax.” VFP

Villegas Monuments

October Programming at the Maywood Public Library

maywood public library shelves

Friday, September 26, 2014 || By COMMUNITY EDITOR

Free Flu Shots at the Library

On Monday, October 6, at 4:30 pm, nurses from the Loyola University Medical Center will be giving free flu shots in room 201 of the Maywood Public Library District.  There will be a limited number of shots, so arriving near 4:30 pm is advised.

Health Screenings
Loyola medical students will visit the Maywood Public Library District on October 1st and 15th to perform health screenings for patrons between the hours of 5:00 pm and 6:30 pm.  Health screenings will include taking a person’s blood pressure, offering counsel on nutrition, advice on how to quit or cut down on smoking, and chronic diseases.  These screenings are free to the public.

Family Health Network

On Monday, October 20, in room 201, the Family Health Network will have a presentation at the Maywood Public Library District on the new changes that have occurred with Medicaid.  This event will begin at 5:00 pm.  The Family Health Network will also have a table in the rotunda of the Library with flyers that will give more details about their organization.

Instructions in Quilting
If you are interested in quilting, or learning how to quilt, please considering visiting the Quilting Class that meets at the Maywood Public Library District every Tuesday and Thursday in Room 202.  Instructions are given on quilting step by step.  The class is free, but there is limited space available.  If you are interested, please call Mildred A. Green at 708-343-2529.  VFP

For more information on programming at the Maywood Public Library, call (708) 343-1847.

 

FREE August Events And Programs At The Maywood Public Library

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Here’s What’s Happening at the Maywood Public Library in August 

Maywood Public Library

Book Signing: Black Dots on White Paper

On Saturday, August 16, at 12 noon, there will be a reading and book signing of Black Dots on White Paper by L. Aaron in room 201 of the Maywood Public Library District.

Literacy Volunteers of Western Cook County (LVWCC)

LVWCC, an organization that offers free tutoring to adults, will visit the Maywood Public Library District on Saturday, August 30, from1:00 pm until 3:00 pm, in room 202. They will answer questions about adult learning, and provide free placement testing for those who wish to sign up for tutoring. LVWCC can be reached online at www.LVWCC.org, via email to info@LVWCC.org, or via phone at(708) 848-8499.

Breakthrough Success Workshop  

Local Maywood author Andrew L. Brown will visit the Maywood Public Library District on Saturday, August 30, at 10:00 am, in room 201. Brown will be conducting two workshops for high school and college students, encouraging them to pursue knowledge, learning, and utilizing some of the resources available to them, such as public libraries. Following the workshop, Brown will have a book signing of his work, Overcome Adversity…Your Dreams Matter.

New Books on Computer Literacy

The Maywood Public Library District updated its collection on computer literacy thanks to the Illinois State Library’s Back to Books grant, which can now be found shelved and displayed on the first floor, or seen on this web page: http://www.maywood.org/library/B2B_Books_2014.html.  This grant has also allowed the Library to offer computer classes.

Computer Classes

Computer Classes will be continuing in the month of August at the Maywood Public Library District.  Participants do not need to be Maywood residents.  These classes are free.

Instructions in Quilting

If you are interested in quilting, or learning how to quilt, please considering visiting the Quilting Class that meets at the Maywood Public Library District every Tuesday and Thursday in Room 202.  Instructions are given on quilting step by step.  The class is free, but there is limited space available.  If you are interested, please call Mildred A. Green at 708-343-2529.  VFP

For more information on the library’s events and programming, please contact Victor Dixon: (708) 343-1847, ext. 20. 

TODAY: FREE Health Screenings At Maywood Public Library @ 5PM

Health Screenings will be performed today at the Maywood Public Library District. Loyola Medical Students will be available to measure blood pressure and answer any questions you have about health and well-being. Please stop by for a quick health check-up! These screenings are FREE. Health Screenings will occur from 5:00-6:45 pm. VFP