The Owen County Public Library has recently asked for an “Additional Appropriation” to increase our budget.
It has been several years since we went through this process, so it is probably a good idea to explain what is meant by the term Additional Appropriation, since the term often confuses people, and for good reason, as it sounds like something it is not.
This is what it does NOT mean: The library is not asking the County for any additional funds.
This is what it DOES mean: The library is asking permission to SPEND money that we ALREADY HAVE in a library savings account.
The process involves an advertisement in the newspaper, a hearing with the County Council, and final approval comes from the Department of Local Government Finance.
They call it an Additional Appropriation because libraries have an annual budget that is “appropriated” for that year only. In other words, libraries are given permission to spend a set amount of money each year.
Any funds that need to be spent above that amount (other than a gift, donation, or grant) is an “additional” amount, and we must get permission to spend it (or appropriate it), even though the funds are coming from the libraries’ own account at the bank.
The library has these extra funds mainly because, occasionally over the years, when the state has had a surplus, libraries would receive some of that surplus with instructions that those funds should be placed in either a “Rainy-Day fund”, or a “Library Improvement Reserve Fund”. These funds are to be used in case of a disaster or emergency to keep the library running, or as libraries see a need for progress, to enlarge or improve the library in some way.
Owen County Library has invested these funds over the years.
The funds we are asking to spend now, are actually just some of the interest earned from the invested Library Improvement Reserve Fund.
The “improvement” we are asking permission to make, is to the Library Pavilion. The pavilion itself has been gifted to the community, but to make it truly usable, we have several contractors ready to add electricity, water, a stage, a dock, etc. These funds will make it possible to give those contractors the go-ahead to get all these things done as quickly as possible so that the whole community can begin to make use of it. We hope that we have over-estimated the amount needed. If so, any excess funds will be returned to the account they came from.