Adamstown Borough discusses possible loan for library

By on February 13, 2019

Adamstown Borough council discussed giving the Adamstown Area Library a “huge” loan for their new 1.3 million library at the Feb. 5 meeting.

“They’re not there yet, they’ve been at it for three years,” said Cindy Schweitzer, chair of the finance committee.

Schweitzer suggested a loan of $600,000 to complete the library project with a two percent interest and a return of 25 years.

“We, as a borough, agreed when they first started their campaign of giving the library a donation of $150,000,” said Schweitzer. “That donation will be rescinded in exchange for that $600,000 loan.”

In the past, the borough was bequeathed 1.5 million which they call the “Hat Fund.”

“This money was given to the borough to keep Adamstown, Adamstown,” said Schweitzer.

“We loaned the fire company money for their engines, the library, the YMCA, the fire company, the pool, are all community projects that make Adamstown what it is,” said Schweitzer.

Between the library representatives and council, their current total at this time was debated, but approximately $750,000 between cash and pledges.

“Once you get it built, Cindy and I are concerned with the yearly operating budget,” said President Randy Good.

Good said 7,200 patrons came through the library doors last November. Good was also concerned about cutting costs to save money.

“When you’ve got that many people coming through the door, you need good commercial materials,” said Good.

Council member Shad Lewis asked if patronage was expected to go up when the project was finished.

“Ten to 20 percent,” said Kathy Thren, library director. “Usually you’ll see that with any new library. It could go up a lot more.”
Thren said the library has “been around for 74 years and has a good reputation.”
“I don’t see us failing,” said Thren.

Mayor Dean Johnson did some math out loud.

“They would have a $2,000 mortgage payment,” said Johnson. “You don’t have a mortgage payment now. Can you handle that?”
“Yes,” said Thren.
“There’s a big leap of faith,” said Schweitzer.

“I think it’s a great use coming from the Hat Fund,” said Johnson.
A few council members said they “need to think about it.”
“We can make this happen, folks,” said Good.

Council said they will act in the spring.

In other news, Jessica Kelly announced the Ephrata Rec will be managing the Adamstown Pool for the 2019 season. The Adamstown YMCA will still run some of their programs.
Michele Walter Fry is a correspondent for The Ephrata Review.

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