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anon-2os6
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PostPosted: Sat, Jul 29, 10:34 am EDT    Post subject: Re: Library Reply with quote

anon;oqs6-np85 wrote:
There is No agenda item as of today to discuss the Library Funding nor approval of additional funding by the Township Committee---If the Library Gangsters are going to be on the agenda it needs to be posted on the agenda. This is just another example of the underhanded backroom dealing on the Library for a Few. The Committee members who are behind the scenes pushing this project need to be voted out of office. This type of politics of non voter approved expenditures is just what is wrong with the politicians we have in office. Vote them out!


We missed you. Glad you are back out to provide some entertaining bs posts.
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anon-05s9
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PostPosted: Sat, Jul 29, 10:42 am EDT    Post subject: Re: Library Reply with quote

anon-85ro wrote:
IMHO...this is a real hornets' nest.

The process has gone pretty far along now and has momentum to complete the project, putting at least a little pressure on the TC to somehow try and cover the shortfall.

The second alternative is to flat out reject the bids...all of them...as long as the financial parameters were set out in the solicitation notices...but this means re-doing everything and going out to bid again, but in any case, not a good harbinger of things to come.

The second alternative or even possibly killing the project would likely enrage many in the community and it's not like this issue hasn't already caused something of a divide among residents.

Are there more yet undiscovered potential donors that could cover this? Maybe.

Is this shortfall and potential cost over runs and the $400K "move in" funding making some donors second guess their decisions? Possibly.

Being an estimated 25% underfunded (including the "move in,") without a shovel yet in the ground, makes one pause for a moment...that is for sure.

And really how reliable will the state be....even if a grant is preliminarily approved? It has gone back on such things when the money is really tight....and that looks like the norm for at least the next few years.

A possibility...and I mean just that...a possibility...keep the current funding where it is through donations and put a referendum on the November ballot to see if the community would approve bonding for $1 million. That should cover the short fall, move in costs, and have about $150K-$200K leftover for potential cost over runs.

The case could be made that by getting the $2.6 million in donations, the library supporters have definitely made their voices of support heard. The balance, when financed, would be negligible as far as the tax rate goes....and the TC would only have to basically come up with 5% now, or $50K to get it done.

Yes, the community is paying a portion, but only 25% as opposed to 100% and the supporters are paying the 75% lion share.

I'm not making a judgement one way or another, just mentioning some things to ponder.


You make some great points. It would certainly seem that there is some momentum to move forward, though at this point the library has raised about half of the money for the known costs, and is using $600k in library budget to fill some of the gap. If you assume they need another $1 million, then they are about 3 years away based on their current rate of fund raising.

Personally, I'd rather have the TC put a $1million bond up for a vote in November for several reasons...
1. If the community supports a new library, we should pay for it.
2. If not, we should stop starving the current library and pulling donations away from other worthy causes.
3. A vote would yield a decision that would allow the community to move forward.

If the library has the community support they claim, it should be a no brained.
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anon-n6o0
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PostPosted: Sat, Jul 29, 2:00 pm EDT    Post subject: Re: Library Reply with quote

It's a good idea, but are some issues with a referendum.

1) I believe the time has passed this year so it would be next year at best.

2) our voter turnout outside of presidential elections is not very good so either way people will complain.

3) Based on the campaign the library will certainly mobilize the voters for them, but there won't be anyone on the other side. So I can pretty well guess the vote will be approved.

I do agree with the points raised above and in the quoted post.

There will be pressure on the TC to cover the shortfall. Which is why I believe the library is going before the TC on August 14th and asking supporters to come out. There is no need to discuss the bids with the TC as they all know the bid outcome. And if it was just a presentation they would not be actively seeking supporters to attend. So the logical conclusion is the library will be asking for something.

But, I am not sure the TC will bend at least not if at least a few anti-library people come out. The result will be that the bids will need to be rejected and the fund raising continued.

If that is the case, then as stated by the other poster it could be a few years before they reach the funding necessary for the lowest bid this round. By that time the cost could increase maybe 2-5% if not more. Thus, it becomes a constant chase with a moving line with a limited number of funding possible as all big donors are already invested.

If the TC did decide to bond, then we'd be in trouble as we're taking on around 8million for affordable housing, have a few million in road repairs, and then have liberty way at 10 million in the nit to distant future. All of which make it unlikely the town could absorb the library funding without a real tax hit.

My guess is that we may be witnessing the library project being on life support. As today they are short 400k to meet the bid, plus the money for the over run of around 100k making them at least 500k short. If it takes them a few years to get 500k more than it could be that they will need to get 650-700k to cover inflation.
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anon-85ro
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PostPosted: Sat, Jul 29, 3:24 pm EDT    Post subject: Re: Library Reply with quote

I agree with both of the above.

The big question I have is how could the initial cost estimate be so far off?

It's not like it is $30-$40K, which could be explained by recent price changes in fuel or materials that could not be anticipated.

But $400,000? Who estimated the project and when was the last detailed proposal finalized? To me, it is a lot.

If you, in the private sector, underestimated a project by 20-25%, you would probably be on the unemployment line unless there was an earth-shattering reason for why.

Whatever the reason, it is where it is.

Another possible remedy could be to place the money on a referendum as soon as legally viable with the understanding that the town would still apply for state money and if that money comes in, it would be immediately applied to retire the bond.

It is a bit of a gamble, I know, but would get the project going now, while still trying to take advantage of the new state program to fund it.

That stops the money chase, which may never be won....sort of like the proverbial dog chasing a car.

Otherwise, this could keep going like the Energizer bunny.

Whichever side you may be on this issue, it needs a certain resolution one way or another to keep the town's culture of apolitical unity.

The longer an issue festers, the wider the divide can grow, and that would be a shame for the community...to be split over the building of a library.
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anon-s6p5
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PostPosted: Sat, Jul 29, 3:33 pm EDT    Post subject: Re: Library Reply with quote

anon-85ro wrote:
I agree with both of the above.

The big question I have is how could the initial cost estimate be so far off?

It's not like it is $30-$40K, which could be explained by recent price changes in fuel or materials that could not be anticipated.

But $400,000? Who estimated the project and when was the last detailed proposal finalized? To me, it is a lot.

If you, in the private sector, underestimated a project by 20-25%, you would probably be on the unemployment line unless there was an earth-shattering reason for why.

Whatever the reason, it is where it is.

Another possible remedy could be to place the money on a referendum as soon as legally viable with the understanding that the town would still apply for state money and if that money comes in, it would be immediately applied to retire the bond.

It is a bit of a gamble, I know, but would get the project going now, while still trying to take advantage of the new state program to fund it.

That stops the money chase, which may never be won....sort of like the proverbial dog chasing a car.

Otherwise, this could keep going like the Energizer bunny.

Whichever side you may be on this issue, it needs a certain resolution one way or another to keep the town's culture of apolitical unity.

The longer an issue festers, the wider the divide can grow, and that would be a shame for the community...to be split over the building of a library.


The library originally thought it would cost around 3.2 million to build. But, my guess is with the low inflation environment and seemingly slow construction market they thought maybe the bids would be closer to what they had in the back. So they were somewhat right. It was less than 3.2 million for the build, but still above their cash on hand.

I do know at least two TC members are opposed to spending any more than what was already allocated based on minutes. So I think this will stay a discussion while the library seeks additional funding.

What I would like to know is if Trenton contributes then do we still pay for the parking lot from general tax revenue?

I have no issue at all building a library if we can get Trenton to pay half given all the money we send and the very little return we get. Something from them is better than nothing.
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anon-85ro
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PostPosted: Thu, Aug 3, 10:57 pm EDT    Post subject: Re: Library Reply with quote

https://www.tapinto.net/towns/south-brunswick-cranbury/articles/cranbury-new-library-project-short-400k-after-b
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anon-s6p5
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PostPosted: Fri, Aug 4, 7:26 am EDT    Post subject: Re: Library Reply with quote

It's nice to see Mr. Taylor holding the library accountable, I hope the other TC members do as well. It's also interesting to see how the shortfall is greater than the library is saying.

Here is an article in the Cranbury Press. Seems pretty clear the library is trying to pressure the town to close the gap. Stating that the town is at fault for them not having enough money. It's interesting that the Tapinto article actually shows how wrong the library is with this comment and the Press did not challenge it.

It seems Tapinto is a lot more credible. Seems it will be very important for the antilibrary crowd to attend the meeting.
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anon-s6p5
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PostPosted: Fri, Aug 4, 7:27 am EDT    Post subject: Re: Library Reply with quote

http://www.centraljersey.com/news/the_cranbury_press/cranbury-library-project-delayed-still-a-shortfall-in-funding/article_f9183350-77af-11e7-adcb-4b65db270330.html

Article from the Cranbury Press
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anon-88r5
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PostPosted: Fri, Aug 4, 10:42 am EDT    Post subject: Re: Library Reply with quote

Interesting points in the Cranbury Press article.

- She (Mrs. Mullen) said a question she gets often is why the town is not putting in more money or is not helping push the project across the finish line. She said her answer is the town is giving the land for the building and doing the site work.

- Mullen said there were delays in getting approvals from the town to get the project off the ground, during which time prices rose. She said officials thought the project would go out to bid in February, at the latest, but even that timing was thrown off.

“If we could have done this in 2015, it would’ve been less, or even 2016,” she said.

However taking the two into account:

- The tapinto article clearly shows there were no delays impacting pricing. As Mr. Taylor highlighted there was not substantial inflation. Further, the library did not have money in the bank to build then or now. So there is no town blame to be had, it is a case of the library simply not having enough money.

- The library is encouraging supporters to come out to try and pressure the TC to close the gap. Hence, her reference of questions- "why the town is not...helping push the project across the finish line." Don't you think their push to have supporters come out on August 14th is so they can ask the TC the very same question and make this demand putting them on the spot to spend $550K or so?

- I doubt Mr. Taylor did himself any favors with the pro-library crowd stating, "he said this week that the supporters need to beat some more donation bushes to fill the gap" and “I am fully supportive of their efforts, but the library needs to close the gap, in my view, with additional fundraising. And those who really want a new building will need to come forward to help." or citing the gap is bigger than $400K.

But, that is what they have been told by the TC since the start. Maybe not as plainly, but sometimes direct comments are good.
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PostPosted: Fri, Aug 4, 1:53 pm EDT    Post subject: Re: Library Reply with quote

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anon-711n
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PostPosted: Sat, Aug 5, 7:03 am EDT    Post subject: Re: Library Reply with quote

anon-88r5 wrote:
Interesting points in the Cranbury Press article.

- She (Mrs. Mullen) said a question she gets often is why the town is not putting in more money or is not helping push the project across the finish line. She said her answer is the town is giving the land for the building and doing the site work.



Good points, Mrs Mullen is admitting that this is not a completely donation funded library. Now that it looks as if the library is going to request more money at a scheduled meeting. Let's remember previous points made on the library.

- The initial proposition was this was to be a completely donor supported library

- The township has already promised $475,000 for the site work

- The township is giving the land, value of that land $500,000, $1,000,000? There is an opportunity cost for losing this land as open space or available for some other use.

- The library has allocated $600,000 from their operating budget of taxpayer revenue. To support this movement of funds, services have been reduced (reduced hours, especially on the weekends when people are free to use the library)

- The bids were at least $400,000 less than what was in the account. This does not yet take into account additional spending that will be necessary, most notably township surround expenses - There will need to be significant expense from township attorney, township engineer, building dept, inspections, etc. Those are not yet even estimated. Contingency for cost overrun (20% is reasonable) is not accounted for as well. Will the township and taxpayers be responsible for these expenses.

- The library has made unrealistically low projections on operating expenses, one memorably example was janitorial expenses, they do not plan to clean a public bathroom daily (would you want to use that bathroom). It is apparent that expenses will be higher for the new library. Will services be reduced or taxes raised to support the probably increased expense load of a new building.

- Is the library money truly in the bank, is all the money received, are there some that are pledges (that is not guaranteed money)

- Not sure if this group is active anymore but the library has made a tight association with hate group, Indivisible Cranbury

As Cranbury, we need to keep our eyes open and understand all the facts.
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anon-s6p5
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PostPosted: Sat, Aug 5, 8:06 am EDT    Post subject: Re: Library Reply with quote

Good points, just some clarification.

- the proposal was for the building to be funded via donation and their legally mandated tax revenue.

- The town's engineer agreed 5% was reasonable at this size project for over runs. It was stated at the meeting when they signed the contract with the town.

- The building department is not funded via tax dollars. They are independent with revenue from building permits supporting them.

- the 475k was also due in large part to the parking lot. Even Mr. Taylor who seems on point about the library stated when running that a municipal lot was something to do to try and help the businesses develop and remain viable on Main St. and compete against the other competing areas. As the more the businesses generate and are worth the higher the tax revenue so investing in them being successful.

- there was always the intent to have land available for a future library. That has been in the master plan for decades.

However, with that clarification your points are correct and why the TC has to be watching this and why residents need to come out and voice concerns if they care. As you can see the library is organizing supporters and if people opposed do not show it will make their case that the town supports their position. . All it takes is 3 votes.
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anon;oqs7-np85
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PostPosted: Sat, Aug 5, 9:16 am EDT    Post subject: Re: Library Reply with quote

So far anyone who is not Pro Library has been treated very poorly by the PRO LIBRARY group. They have been publicly berated with public listings of donors and non donors and this has been a very disruptive mess created by the PRO LIBRARY task force. It is a shame that this has really fractured many relationships. You can be sure there are many, many opponents to this project; but they are unwilling to be treated any worse than they have already been treated . Going to a TC meeting with the Library Gang will only do further damage.
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anon-4n20
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PostPosted: Sat, Aug 5, 12:44 pm EDT    Post subject: Re: Library Reply with quote

But, then how can we expect the TC to stand up. If they see this pro library crowd who claims majority of support and not one anti library person they will naturally assume either majority does support or the rest are indifferent. We can't expect the TC who lives here too to fight our battles for us.

Yes, you may damage a friendship, but so will the TC members without even knowing whether it is a fight being appreciated. So least anyone anti library can do is spend an hour supporting their view.
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anon;oqs8-np85
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PostPosted: Sat, Aug 5, 8:20 pm EDT    Post subject: Re: Library Reply with quote

Let me explain about posting a position or going to a meeting. Way back in the "Old Days" my husband and I were starting to feel some relief that our children were going to college and they were on their own. Fortunatly due to some scholarships our financial burden was a bit lighter. We were at a time when the Cranbury Board of Education wanted to Bond for expansion. WE were reluctant to vote in a positive manner. We ,as life long residents were visited by members of the B of E along with the President of the Cranbury Teachers Association Kathy Jani. We were assured that although the bond was for the "School Children" there was a benefit for us even if our children were out of school. The benefit was a "Community Room"--- Well we voted for the bond and were promptly told that "By the Way" there were no provisions for furniture---well that added another dollar burden to us that we were not expecting. At the end of the day the school has total control of the"Community Center" and not even the Woman's Club can use it without an act of Congress!!! Joan Rue sand bagged us with this bunch of %$&# and we cannot let "The Library Mafia" do it to us again under the guise of a "Community Center". If the TC spends one more cent on this they need to voted out . This entire process has been undemocratic and should have been put to a ballot vote.
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anon-os0s
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PostPosted: Sat, Aug 5, 8:33 pm EDT    Post subject: Re: Library Reply with quote

anon;oqs8-np85 wrote:
Let me explain about posting a position or going to a meeting. Way back in the "Old Days" my husband and I were starting to feel some relief that our children were going to college and they were on their own. Fortunatly due to some scholarships our financial burden was a bit lighter. We were at a time when the Cranbury Board of Education wanted to Bond for expansion. WE were reluctant to vote in a positive manner. We ,as life long residents were visited by members of the B of E along with the President of the Cranbury Teachers Association Kathy Jani. We were assured that although the bond was for the "School Children" there was a benefit for us even if our children were out of school. The benefit was a "Community Room"--- Well we voted for the bond and were promptly told that "By the Way" there were no provisions for furniture---well that added another dollar burden to us that we were not expecting. At the end of the day the school has total control of the"Community Center" and not even the Woman's Club can use it without an act of Congress!!! Joan Rue sand bagged us with this bunch of %$&# and we cannot let "The Library Mafia" do it to us again under the guise of a "Community Center". If the TC spends one more cent on this they need to voted out . This entire process has been undemocratic and should have been put to a ballot vote.


This is exactly why you need to go to the meeting and speak up. This is not going to be a referendum given the donations made by residents.

If you want to ensure the TC does not cover the gap as the library will press, then it is necessary to go and show the TC there are people opposed.
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