PHILIPSBURG — During last month’s Philipsburg Borough Council meeting, John Sengle, president of the board of trustees for the Centre County Library and Historical Museum, spoke to council about needing an HVAC system upgrade at Philipsburg’s Holt Memorial Library.
At the time, Sengle said they were roughly $11,000 short after they originally got a matching Keystone Grant in the amount of $54,000 but the project itself end came in at a cost of $79,000.
Sengle asked council if they would consider helping fund the project and an answer was given at Monday night’s meeting, as the borough decided to give Holt Memorial Library an extra $5,700.
Council President Barb Gette said she talked with Sengle last week and mentioned they did actually make up some of the $11,000 deficit, but more was still needed.
“They still have a $5,700 shortfall,” Gette said. “That’s what they’re looking at.”
Borough Manager Joel Watson said he and Secretary Shelley Walstrom have run numbers for this year’s budget and they estimate to have a surplus anywhere from $150,000 to $180,000.
Councilman Harry Wood asked if other adjoining municipalities were contacted about funding the project.
“This is part of their library, too,” Wood said.
Gette said she agreed with Wood but did not know the answer, reiterating she talked with Sengle last weekend and that information wasn’t given. However, Gette did said she was told that they also approached a business about a donation, but that was the extent of it.
“Whether he went to other municipalities or to the (Philipsburg-Osceola) school, I don’t know,” Gette said.
Council was then reminded they already give the library $5,000 each year — as well as that same amount to the Rowland Theatre and the Philipsburg Historical Society. Wood suggested having a fundraiser to get rid of the shortfall.
“Can they do a major fundraiser on their own to raise this money?” Wood asked. “I mean, we give each one $5,000.”
“They don’t have time to do it,” Councilman John Knowles said, as it was mentioned the HVAC project needs to be done as soon as possible because of the grant.
Knowles said he feels council should give the library the remaining $5,700 and made a motion to do so, which was seconded by Councilwoman Faith Maguire. Council then unanimously approved it.
“I feel we spend a lot of money at Cold Stream, a lot of money at the ball fields, we spend a lot of money on everything else,” Knowles said. “This is something that — there’s a lot of kids (using the library) and there’s a lot of programs.”