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Library aims for 3% raises, pending review

The Allen County Public Library board has planned for 3 percent raises for employee benefits and salaries in 2013, but there are no guarantees of raises until the board reviews salary surveys and an analysis in November.

Last year the board budgeted for 2 percent increases, but that was reduced to about 1 percent when the budget was finalized.

The library’s $25 million 2013 budget is once again nearly flat, with an increase of less than 1 percent over this year’s budget, finance manager David Sedestrom said Thursday. The budget is balanced assuming state-mandated caps on tax revenue result in $2.2 million to $2.3 million in cuts as expected, he said.

In addition to analyzing salaries, the board will need to review the minimums and maximums in the library’s pay ranges, Sedestrom said.

“It’s getting harder and harder to hire someone in at the minimum ranges we have set,” Sedestrom said. If the library decides to raise the minimum levels, it will have to be across the board to be equitable, he said.

The library has eight grade levels for employees, with the first level ranging from $7.25 to $12.88 hourly and the eighth level ranging from $21.60 to $33.71 an hour.

The board is expected to decide on any changes in salaries and benefits and finalize the budget in November.

Library officials presented their budget to the Allen County Council last week, complying with a new state law directing councils to review the 2013 budgets of almost every taxing body in the county.

The council could do little more than make a recommendation that the library board not increase its levy beyond what the law allows and that it spend cash balances before raising taxes. The council has no power to make changes, and the tentative budget figures are high to ensure the entity is able to tax as much as possible.

Color copiers

The library will soon install about 30 copiers that produce color copies, and the board agreed to charge patrons 25 cents a copy.