Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Palmetto Bay history. Strategic planning and why the Palmetto Bay neighborhood branch library should survive the current library cuts

I love history. And I enjoy creating and watching our area prosper. That is a huge part why I like to stay engaged in Palmetto Bay and our South Dade communities. We all have a huge investment in making our community the best it can be. There were many reasons why things were done in certain ways. You cannot always account for every contingency, but you want to make sure that taxpayers get what they pay for, in this case bringing library services closer to those living in Palmetto Bay and north Cutler Bay.

I hope by now that everyone has taken advantage of this resource. A library is much more than 'bricks and mortar.' It is also a gathering place where community events occur. Tot reading time, Middle schooler book discussion groups, crafts and the popular 'Edible Book Festival' have been featured in this library. Do you have a favorite activity from this branch by now?

Please review the July 14, 2011, post: A short history of the efforts resulting in the Palmetto Bay Branch Library and the protections that the initial village council put in place to make sure we would have a library for current and future generations to enjoy.

This sets out the original vision plan of the very first council and let's everyone know why the Palmetto Bay neighborhood branch library should survive the current library cuts.
Palmetto Bay and Miami-Dade County entered into a 28 year lease in 2005. This lease is known as the “Library Interlocal Agreement.” The payment terms provide that the county will make an annual payment of $108,980.70 during the 28 year period. This is additional to the common area maintenance fees. This money goes toward the ultimate purchase of this library building by the County. Miami-Dade County is required to use this facility primarily for library and library-related purposes (and a possible use for elections). Failure of the County to use this site as a library at any time in the future (before or after the initial 28 year period) causes title to the property to revert back to Palmetto Bay.
This same agreement requires that the MDPLS will operate the library and pay the full yearly operating costs. The library will be open 5 days per week from Monday through Saturday according to the following schedule:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday : 09:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 11:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Note, however, that the library is not precluded from altering its hours of operation.
The County does have the right to cancel this agreement. HOWEVER, Miami-Dade County will owe the village a balloon payment equal to the balance required to pay-off Palmetto Bay’s construction cost debt should the county chose to terminate the interlocal agreement for the library with Palmetto Bay. Palmetto Bay would retain and own the building.
We made sure there was a huge financial disincentive for Miami-Dade County to try to pull out of the library we fought long and hard for.  Not every area has these protections to protect their branch.  Regardless, all public libraries are valuable assets for the communities they serve. Protect your library.

The Miami Herald posted an article on the 22 branch libraries currently at risk. See  Miami-Dade County releases list of public libraries, fire-rescue units on budget-chopping block: The 22 libraries are: California Club, Opa-locka, Golden Glades, Civic Center Kiosk, Lemon City, Little River, Model City, Culmer, North Shore, Shenandoah, South Shore, Fairlawn, Virrick Park, Country Walk, Concord, Sunset, Lakes of the Meadows, Tamiami, West Kendall Regional, Doral, Hialeah Gardens and Palm Springs North.

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