December 1, 2022

       Minutes of the Evangeline Parish Library Board of Control Meeting  December 1, 2022

The Evangeline Parish Library Board of Control met on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at 12 p.m. at the main library on 916 West Main Street, Ville Platte, Louisiana 70586.  Marcantel called the meeting to order.  Joseph gave the opening prayer and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Godeaux called roll.  Present were President Katy Marcantel, Vice President Gaynelle Coates, Board Members Sandra Salazar, Rella Joseph, and Faye Langley, attorney Brent Coreil, Parish Engineer Ronnie Landreneau, Bo Soileau, Information Systems Solutions representative, Friends of the Library Members Paula Lafleur , Carla DeVille, and Linda Lebsack, Staff Members Suzy Lemoine, Ted Lavergne, and Lisa Godeaux.  Absent was Bryan Vidrine, Police Jury President.

Coates moved to approve agenda and the minutes of the October, 2022 Library Board of Control Meeting.  Salazar seconded, and the motion carried unanimously.

Marcantel asked if there were any public comments on Agenda Items.  None were made.

Marcantel opened discussion of Old Business, starting with the Basile Project purchase agreement.  She asked attorney Brent Coreil to provide information on the status of the purchase agreement.  Coreil stated that the issues delaying the property purchase were complicated but that all except one had been resolved.  Coreil stated that he expects the last issue to be resolved shortly and that the land purchase can go to close soon, possibly as early as the end of next week. 

Lemoine asked what parties were involved in the closing.  Coreil stated that the purchaser of the property designates whomever they wish to sign the purchase agreement.  The Library is an entity of the Police Jury system.  In that respect, the Library is the purchaser of the property.  Lemoine stated that the check for the purchase would be issued by the Police Jury from the Library’s Capital Fund Account with funds set aside for this purchase. Responding to questions, Coreil stated that the purchase price remained $50,000.  Debts owed by the seller have no effect on the agreed upon price.  Lemoine stated that the purchase price for the Basile property had been included in this year’s budget.  If the purchase does not go to close until after December 31st, the budget will have to be amended.

Marcantel called for an update from the Ville Platte Expansion Project Committee.  Lemoine stated that the Committee had met and were satisfied with the plans as presented by Landreneau and Associates.  Lebsack stated that no structural changes were made to the plans, only possible changes in allocation of spaces.  Lemoine added that the Committee agreed to revisit the allocation of space once a new director had been hired and the Board was ready to move forward with the expansion project.  Marcantel asked Landreneau if planning process was at a good point to temporarily shelve the project.  Landreneau agreed that it was.  He stated that the Committee had recommended that pocket or sliding doors between the Conference Room and Genealogy Room be converted to a solid wall.  Salazar moved to accept the plans for the Ville Platte Expansion Project.  Langley seconded, and the motion carried.

 Marcantel asked for the status of the E-Rate Fiber Project to extend fiber-optic internet connection to the Turkey Creek Library.  Bo Soileau explained that after he posted the necessary forms on the E-Rate website, three proposals were returned.  After he reviewed the proposals, he found that the one that best fit the Library’s needs came from Conterra Networks, the company the Library currently uses for internet connection.  Through E-Rate, the Library would pay 10% of the cost to extend the fiber-optic cable to the Turkey Creek Library.   The Library’s cost would be $31,500, which could be paid over a 5-year period if desired.  This cost is considerably less than the predicted $35,000 to $40,000 and would be paid for from the Library’s Capital Improvement Funds.  Soileau detailed the process involved in accepting and moving forward with a proposal.  He reiterated that Conterra only offers services to businesses, not individual residences.  The Library’s paying for the extension of fiber-optic cable to Turkey Creek could, however, provide other companies the opportunity to partner with Conterra to piggyback on the fiber-optic cable to offer residential services.  This could benefit the entire Turkey Creek area. Coates moved to accept the proposal from Conterra and move forward with the E-Rate Fiber Project.  Salazar seconded, and the motion carried.

Marcantel opened discussion on the formation of a Capital Project Fund Committee and appointment of members. Following discussion, it was decided by acclamation that all Library Board of Control members needed to be involved in decisions at this time.  Formation of a Capital Project Fund Committee was tabled for the time being.

Marcantel opened discussion of New Business.  The first item was the approval of step changes for Amy King and Lakeishia Ford due to changes in job duties.   Salazar moved to approve the step changes.  Coates seconded, and the motion carried. (This includes the Cost of Living increase.)

The Board began reviewing the Financial Reports.   Lemoine outlined some of the more pertinent information.

Marcantel opened discussion of adding a $0.65 per hour Cost of Living increase to the 2023 library employee pay scale.  The total added cost to the Library to include a Cost of Living increase along with the normal annual step increase would be $8,872.  Joseph moved to approve adding the Cost of Living increase to the library employee pay scale.  Langley seconded, and the motion carried.

Next, the Board reviewed the Amended 2022 budget.  Lemoine explained the amendments.  She stated that the Library had budgeted $1,311,550.09 for 2022.  With one month left in the year, the Library is currently well under budget. In addition, the millage report indicates that the Library has actually received $1,464,098.48 from ad valorem taxes as of November 17, 2022, giving the Library a surplus of $152,548.48.  The Board will decide at a later time whether to allocate the extra funds to Capital Improvements or the Expansion Fund.  Lemoine stated that the Library is in great shape financially.  The 2022 budget includes the $50,000 to purchase the Basile property.    Joseph moved to approve the Amended 2022 budget.  Langley seconded, and the motion carried. 

Marcantel opened discussion of 2023 budget proposals.  The accepted proposal includes the normal step increase of $0.25/hour for employees as well as the Cost of Living increase.  It also includes the salary for a new director as well as making provision for hiring an additional staff member if needed.  Coates moved to approve the 2023 budget.  Joseph seconded, and the motion carried.

Marcantel opened discussion of 2023 Board of Control meeting dates.  The Board set the following dates:  January 9, March 13, July 10, September 11, and November 27, 2023.  All meetings will be held at the Ville Platte Branch at 4:00 p.m.

The Board then viewed the proposed 2023 Holiday closure list.   Joseph moved to approve the 2023 Holiday closure list.  Salazar seconded, and the motion carried.

Marcantel opened discussion of two 2023 Fine-Free periods for the months of August and December.  As in previous years, new fines would be waived this month.  Old fines would be reduced by half if paid in one lump sum.  Salazar moved to approve the two 2023 Fine Free periods in August and December.  Joseph seconded, and the motion carried.

Langley moved to approve two (2) credit cards with a $2,000 credit limit each for Business Manager Emily Fontenot and Outreach Coordinator Suzy Lemoine.  (This motion replaces Dr. William Holmes and Jo Anna Miller.)  Salazar seconded, and the motion carried.

Landreneau asked for clarification regarding the Basile Project.   Marcantel stated that as soon as the Basile land purchase was finalized, Landreneau could begin the preliminary work for the new Basile Library.  Landreneau suggested that he meet with the Board after doing the preliminary work, present the estimated costs, then begin the design of the new structure.  Landreneau stated that he could meet with Langley to discuss what repairs were necessary, particularly to the roof, to protect the assets in the current library until the new one is built.  Langley moved to allow Landreneau to begin preliminary work and design of the new Basile Library.  Salazar seconded, and the motion carried.  The Board will address the issue of roof repairs in Basile at a later meeting.

Lavergne gave an overview of the Facilities Report.   He stated that pickup and delivery of books is now done twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) rather than just on Tuesdays. Lavergne stated that there was still work pending on the new Pine Prairie parking lot.  Lemoine stated that the limestone had been requested through the Police Jury and should be delivered soon.  Lavergne also informed the Board that a new Security/Facilities Assistant would need to be hired in the near future.  The Board directed Lavergne to begin looking for someone to fill the position being vacated by Nathan Casagay. (see attached)

 Lemoine gave the Outreach Report.   The Library programs are being advertised on its Facebook page.  Along with Lemoine, Lakeishia Ford has been very active in assisting in a number of outreach programs, including Career Day at Ville Platte High School.  Although Library Fest had been cancelled due to weather concerns, there is discussion of possibly having it in the spring.  Of special interest is presentation on December 13th.  Miss Ville Platte, Anna Katherine Steckler, is hosting a unique program called “Tribute to Rodrigue: Louisiana Art Movement and Cajun Culture” which will be delivered by her father, Gary Steckler.   (see attached)

Salazar moved to adjourn.  Joseph seconded, and the motion carried.

The next Library Board of Control Meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 9, 2023, at 4:00 p.m. at the Ville Platte Library.

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