The pandemic may have canceled many activities, but the Fort Dodge Public Library has still welcomed some 4,200 people in 71 programs over the past year.
Library director Rita Schmidt gave city council a summary of the building’s activities while presenting her proposed budget on Monday.
City council reviewed spending plans for the library, the Blanden Memorial Art Museum, the Fort Dodge Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Karl L. King Municipal Band.
The city’s next fiscal year begins July 1, but state law requires cities to complete their budgets by mid-March.
Schmidt said that over the past year, the library continued to offer activity bags for children to pick up and take home. The bags were filled with literacy and math worksheets as well as craft supplies. There was a different bag each month. Schmidt said 200 to 300 bags are being distributed each week.
She said the adult coloring sessions and the book club are back on schedule. She added that regular summer reading programs are planned.
The library’s proposed budget for 2022-2023 is $ 966,501.
That’s up from the current $ 846,966.
The budget includes money for a new part-time library assistant position. This employee would work 20 hours per week.
The Blanden Memorial Art Museum will celebrate its 90th anniversary in June.
Starting this summer, the museum’s arts education classes will move out of the building’s basement and take up rented space at 225 S. Eighth St. Museum director Eric Anderson said the Blanden Charitable Foundation will pay the fee. rent.
He added that the long-term goal is to bring these classes back to the museum.
Moving art classes out of the basement has been a goal for museum managers for years. In 2019, a separate building right next to the museum was proposed to house them, but that plan was essentially put aside.
The proposed budget for the museum is $ 267,650.
This is an increase from the current $ 235,900.
The Convention and Visitors Bureau derives its revenue from the city’s hotel / motel tax, a 7 percent levy added to accommodation bills in the city. The revenue from this tax is distributed in several different ways, but a significant share goes to the CVB.
Kerrie Kuiper, executive director of the office, said local hotel revenues were increasing. A year ago it was $ 7.6 million, but the most recent figure is $ 11.2 million
“We are returning to our pre-COVID levels in our budget,” she said.
The proposed budget for the office is $ 262,000
The Karl L. King Municipal Band has a proposed budget of $ 38,000.
This remains unchanged from the current budget.
The band budget is funded by a property tax of 5 cents per $ 1,000 of assessed value.