Chesterton Tribune



Library Board eyes long term lease for Brown Mansion

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The Westchester Public Library Board of Trustees is considering asking the Duneland School Corporation for a long-term lease of the Brown Mansion for the Township History museum.

The lease was discussed at the board’s meeting Thursday as the board considered making a contribution towards the repair work going on this summer at the Brown Mansion, even though it’s something that is not required in the lease agreement.

The work is being paid for by the school corporation which accepted a bid of $74,900 by Majestic Builders LLC.

A 10-year lease was signed by the Library in 2005 when the Brown Mansion became home to the Library’s museum. The Library is currently paying the lease on a monthly basis at $15,000 annually, board attorney Terry Hiestand said.

Board members said they would like to look at ways they could help Duneland Schools maintain the building.

It’s certainly something that benefits anybody to keep that building in good shape,” said member Drew Rhed.

Member Nick Tilden said discussions with the school corporation would be to ask it what it would like to see going forward.

What we are really talking about is a partnership,” said board president Kathryn Cochran.

A previous renovation for the building two years ago was paid by WPL to reconfigure the exhibit space for the museum on the lower level.

Renaming ceremony planned

In her Librarian’s report, Yelich said she is working on dates to have a ceremony for renaming WPL’s Library Service Center to the Baugher Center, named after long-time WPL director Phil Baugher.

Yelich said new exterior monument signs should be installed sometime in August but the ceremony would happen sometime in September.

Attendees will be encouraged to wear their favorite Hawaiian shirt or tie-dyed shirt in honor of Phil.

WPL will have a tie-dying event at the Duneland Chamber’s Party in the Park on Saturday, Aug. 13, so people can wear the shirts to the naming ceremony.

Yelich said renaming the LSC as the Baugher Center should clear up some confusion about what the building is. She said many people first get the impression that it is a library itself instead of a community building that hosts programs.

In addition to the new signage, Yelich said a few changes will be done to the building’s exterior such as removing the blue awning.

The monument sign will have a brick base to match the other WPL buildings.

Job descriptions

As part of the board’s effort this year to give employees salaries competitive with other libraries around Porter and neighboring counties, Yelich provided members with a stack of refurbished job descriptions for each full time employee.

A committee of three board members will meet later this month to look at them and make salary suggestions based on that.

The board will meet an hour earlier at their August meeting, 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 11, to study the suggestions.

The new salaries will be part of the Library’s 2017 budget. A public hearing is expected at the board’s September meeting.



Posted 7/18/2016




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