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Has Town of Lisbon Checked Out of Library Talks?

Concerned about being "left out to dry" by Town of Lisbon officials, Sussex moves forward with creating a committee to explore the future of the Pauline Haass Public Library.

The Village Board on Monday announced it will form a committee to explore the future of the Pauline Haass Public Library as Town of Lisbon and village officials struggle to come to a long-term joint library agreement.   

According to a statement from the village, the committee is charged with developing a plan to "ensure the quality of library service are maintained for businesses and residents in the community for years to come." 

"We are very proactive in the village and we don't want to be hung out to dry at the the last minute," Village President Greg Goetz said Monday.

The need for a committee is due to the Town of Lisbon's "clear intent to stop paying for the library" and to prepare the village for a library that may not provide service to Lisbon residents in the future, according to the statement.  

Town Chairman Matt Gehrke told Patch on Monday, however, that Lisbon is still "willing to talk, negotiate and to be somewhat flexible." 

The two municipalities are attempting to iron out a new agreement for 2015 and beyond. At the beginning of September, the Lisbon rejected a proposal that would have  Sussex pay $500,000 with the town paying $425,000 a year, according to the Sussex Sun

The agreed proposed amount is about $40,000 more than the village currently pays and $40,000 less than the town currently pays, the newspaper said. 

"Sussex residents use it substantially more than Lisbon residents do," Gehrke said. 

The Sun indicated the town presented a counter-proposal that stipulates that at the beginning of 2015, the town would pay $250,000, instead of $425,000. 

The $250,000 amount matches the "amount the of a tax levy town residents would pay if they were required to pay 24 cent per $100,000 countywide library tax," said the Sun, which noted the town does not currently pay the tax because of the current agreement.  

Gehrke said the town is "firm" on that the framework of the proposal. 

"I'm not going to negotiate with myself here. Up until today, I haven't heard that they are willing to sit down and talk," he added. 

Goetz said he is willing to discuss the original proposal, but not the counter-proposal. 

"We are always willing to negotiate any issue no matter what the circumstances are, but in this case we feel that Lisbon has made a clear indication that they are not going to support the library after the debt is paid off," Goetz said.

According to the Sun, the village spends about $100,000 to pay off debt on the library building. The debt will be paid off 2014. 

"It seems like the discussions are over. That's what it seemed like to me, but I am always willing and open to suggestions," Goetz said. 

The committee will be comprised of members of the Village Board and "key members" of the Library Board. 

Mike B October 02, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Official info from the library: http://www.phplonline.org/pdf-files/factsheet.pdf The library is a shared public resource just like the police and fire service. Those other things are split based on the average values of homes in the town/village. Why should the library be any different? The only other suggestion I would think might work is to base it on the usage. Sussex 58%, Lisbon 42%. If the budget is 925,000, Sussex should pay 536,500 and Lisbon should pay 388,500. Other than that, I say cut off services to Lisbon folks if they don't want to help fund it. Dropping their part in half just because they don't like paying any more is just idiotic.
Johnny Paycheck October 02, 2012 at 03:14 AM
The library costs way too much to maintain and attracts too many students, book readers and other undesirables. I say knock it down and build a saloon.
Ellen Venk October 02, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Consider revamping the library with materials for youths and cutting the budget. If I want a book, I can buy it or get it in Waukesha where the selection is far better.
Joseph October 02, 2012 at 12:16 PM
And if that happens, I could just go to another library and get a book.
Mike B October 02, 2012 at 01:10 PM
I'm sure the Falls would love to have you.
Mike B October 02, 2012 at 01:11 PM
All the Waukesha libraries are linked together. You can simply go to the website and they will ship a book from any WCFLS library to another so you can just pick it up locally. The selection per library doesn't really matter if you're willing to wait a couple days to get a book or movie.
Gary October 02, 2012 at 01:13 PM
The Town is not required to pay more than what they are offering after 2015. That's not being Idiotic, cheap maybe but not Idiotic. Many communities including a lot of villages only pay the min county library tax. So you will have a lot different municipalities residents to cut off then by your logic. Better start building some walls. If you read the Towns Proposal on there website it states that that option would only be used it the Town were not incorporated into a village. It seems to me the real issue here is Incorporation again. I have not read that the village board has even acknowledged this point. Why not let Lisbon become a village and then negotiate the funding back to the original proposal and then we can all move on.
Richard Head October 02, 2012 at 01:14 PM
They could leave the building up, and turn it into a saloon with a casino. Build some bus stop shelters on the bump outs.
Resident October 02, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Unfortunately the "Lisbon folks" have no to say in this proposal -- it's the town chairman making the decision. I'm sure the "Lisbon folks" would approve of the proposal developed by the joint committee.
Mike B October 02, 2012 at 06:56 PM
You always have a say. You simply call up the person in charge and ask them what the heck they are doing and give your input. Then you have a bunch of friends do the same thing. Or you show up at the next Town meeting and voice your opinion in front of the board there. There's always ways to be heard.

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