Maintenance, Repair, and Utility Costs

Since we live in Montana there's a good chance that you will need to shovel snow or perform some other kind of maintenance on the building, property, and/or equipment. Be sure to budget some money for handling maintenance of the building and/or equipment. It may be good to identify local businesses that you can hire for routine maintenance work. If you have no idea what to budget look at past library budgets or talk to the city or county clerk and recorder to get an idea of what has been spent in the past. If you establish contracts for specific work it would be wise to have legal advice and investigate whether those you hire should be licensed or bonded. Most likely these individuals will need to have an independent contractor license. Please visit the Independent Contractor Central Unit's website for more information: This unit is based under the Department of Labor and Industry.

If the building or any equipment requires expensive repairs or work don't forget that you will need to follow the competitive bidding process outlined by the county. You can also create your own policy, but we recommend matching the county's policy. The competitive bidding process is the practice of getting multiple bids, developing criteria to select someone, and then selecting them following an open and transparent process. Depending on the circumstances you may wish to follow the competitive bidding process for smaller jobs as well.

Be sure to include utility costs in your budget as well. The city or county may have paid for these items in the past, but the district will need to cover them now. Be careful about continuing an arrangement with the city or county when it comes to utility costs. It seems like a great idea to have the city/county continue payment of utility costs, but if personnel change the district could suddenly find itself with large utility bills and no way of paying for them. It's cleaner and more transparent if the district pays for its own utility bills. You may need to work with the local utility companies to have bills sent to the library directly.

Establishing a library depreciation fund is also very important, even if the district cannot contribute large sums of money to it in the beginning. This fund can be invested and will hopefully grow over time so that when your building needs a new roof or other major building repair or renovation--the district will have some money to put toward those large bills rather than depending on intercap governmental loans, passing a bond, or fundraising. Please visit the Montana State Library's Library Law site for more information about library depreciation funds.

ASPeN: The New Library Directory

Events Calendar