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Cost to operate the new library

October 3, 2012
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

In January 2011, the Library website contained estimates for the expected cost to operate the library after doubling the size of the facility. Let's see how close the estimates were by comparing the actual operating cost of the original facility prior to construction [FY 09-10] with the operating budget for next year, which is the first year after construction is complete. [FY 12-13]

"Overall operating cost were projected to increase between 6-11 percent," however the FY 12-13 budget is more than 60 percent higher than it was prior to expansion. It was thought that Capital Outlay would "decrease $5,100-$16,500;" instead it actually increased $46,000. Plant & Equipment Maintenance was planned to increase by only "$28,200-$56,600," however it increased $103,000 or more than double the cost prior to expansion. The projected budget increase for personnel was "$75,700 -$87,300," but it appears the increase will be closer to $150,000 or 40 percent more than the original staffing. New construction was to have lowered administrative expense "$26,799-$47,300" and it came close with a budgeted decrease of $17,500. A "$30,000 Contingency Fund" was planned for the new facility to cover catastrophic occurrences. The actual budgeted amount is $45,000.

The projections last year for the cost to operate the new facility appear to have increased substantially in the recently approved budget. We can only hope that the past history of over inflating the budget by 30 percent will continue.

Bob Miller

Fort Myers Beach



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