February 29, 2012
Colfax Mayor Todd Vanek reported Tuesday night that city and Whitman County Library officials are working up a new contract for the long-standing agreement which calls for the city to pay for part of the upkeep of the library’s headquarters building in Colfax. Vanek reported to the city council that neither the city nor the library can locate a copy of the original agreement. He said a search for the original contract turned up letters and other material, but not the original agreement.
Problems with the agreement surfaced at the Dec. 19 city council session because the annual fee had been increased to $12,279, approximately 40% higher than the previous payment.
Library Director Kristie Kirkpatrick explained to the council Dec. 19 that the reason for the increase was the portion assigned to the city for library costs of remodeling the library. The city has also been billed in the past for paying for library improvements.
Mayor Norma Becker, who was presiding at her last meeting Dec. 19, said she felt the city should have representation on the library board if it makes commitments which eventually impact the city.
Vanek Tuesday told city council members the $12,279 payment had been approved and paid. However, he said the city and library hope to come up with a new agreement with both sides getting a copy. The library’s standard agreement with other towns around the county calls for the library to provide costs of operation and the towns to come up with the site. Because the library owns its headquarters building here, Colfax has paid a share of the upkeep in lieu of having to provide a site.