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Boonslick Library step closer to owning new facility

Charles Dunlap
cdunlap@gatehousemedia.com

The Boonslick Regional Library will be able to expand its footprint and educational opportunities soon. The city and the library are in the process of transferring ownership of their respective properties to house the library.

Mary Pat Abele with the Boonslick Regional Library Board of Trustees thanked the council and city staff for their work on plans to transfer ownership and between the city and the library at Tuesday’s Boonville City Council meeting. The library will move to the Library Learning Center on the former home of Kemper Military School and College.

City staff and the library board have fine tuned and clarified the agreement, according to council packet information provided by City Manager Kate Fjell.

“We feel the Memorandum of Agreement really designates specific things that will be beneficial for the city and the library,” Abele said.

The Boonslick board approved the memorandum for the transfer of property ownership approximately three weeks ago, Abele said. The city initially issued a Memorandum of Understanding in March before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most services.

“We look forward to moving forward with you,” she said.

City voters approved a temporary 7/8-cent sales tax increase August 2019, that went into effect Jan. 1 to raise $6 million to pay for improvements at the Kemper campus. The tax expires in 2025. Consumers pay an increase of $0.87 per $100 spent within Boonville city limits.

A separate project from the Kemper improvements were the demolition of the K and D Barracks on the former military academy campus. Rubble from the K Barracks demolition will be used as fill to build a parking lot behind the Library Learning Center on the Kemper Campus.

Other upgrades include a $1 million renovation of the Johnson Field House, which houses the YMCA. A $4 million renovation and expansion of Academic Hall will connect to the Johnson Field House. The parking lot at the library is expected to cost $500,000. The remaining $500,000 goes toward engineering and design.

The city will hold a second reading of an ordinance approving the new memorandum of agreement between the city and library. The city will take over ownership of the old library facility, while Boonslick Regional will take over the Library Learning Center on the Kemper Campus.

The Kemper sales tax has brought in $631,000 to date, Fjell said. There was an expected budget of $750,000. This means about 84% has been collected.

“We have about six months to go, so that is good,” she said.

IN OTHER BUSINESS

The Boonville Council held a second reading and approval of an ordinance to establish a one-way alley between the 500 blocks of Locust and Spruce streets. The first reading was held Aug. 17.

Four bids from six inquiries were received by the city for the purchase of highway de-icing salt. Bid prices were per ton. Compass Minerals, which provided salt to the city from 2015-2019 was the winning bid at $72.74 per ton. The city will purchase 1,500 tons.

The first readings of bills approving the final site plan for the Spirit of 76 Expansion and one-way traffic restrictions at Highland Drive was held. Second reading and potential approval will take place at the Sept. 21 council meeting.

Sales tax numbers for the stormwater, parks sales tax, capital improvement and 1% taxes are at 53% collected, to date, Fjell said. If collection numbers remain steady, those respective taxes will make their revenue budgets, she said.

Use tax numbers also are positive, Fjell said. The city has collected $192,000 of a $250,000 budget, or 77%.

Gaming tax returns are the downside to the recent tax report, Fjell said. The city has collected $764,000, to date. If the city were to hold steady with what is currently coming in, final collection projections are $1.9 million of a $2.9 million budget, Fjell said.