The Madisonville City Council unanimously approved a $70,000 loan to the Hopkins County-Madisonville Library renovation project Monday night.
If accepted by the library board, the low-interest loan from the city would be used towards paying off the remaining $69,000 of the prevailing wage judgment issued by the Kentucky Labor Cabinet in May.
A Hopkins County-Madisonville Public Library board member says Christmas has come early in the form of a $500,000 dollar fiscal court allocation for the library’s new facility.
Library board president Carolyn Ferrell says the board reviewed the court's plan this morning and voted to request the funding the court had made available for them. She says, for now, the board will pay the county back with interest it draws annually from its endowment.
The Hopkins County-Madisonville Library is one step closer to resuming renovation on its new location after making a $28,000 dollar payment on its nearly $100,000 prevailing wage judgment.
When construction on the library’s new home began, Library Board President Carolyn Ferrell said the board misunderstood the prevailing wage requirements, which apply to public projects with budgets larger than $250,000.
Ferrell said board and library foundation members met with Jerald Adkins with the Kentucky Labor Cabinet in Frankfort last week to discuss payment options for the rest of the bill.
The Madisonville Public Library Board is trying to cut a $98, 904 prevailing wage bill against them. The Kentucky Cabinet of Labor determined in May that the library’s renovation project is subject to prevailing wage and conducted an audit of what they believe the board owed to their contractors. Library board attorney Randall Hardesty said the board is now trying to get the Cabinet’s calculation lowered.
The Hopkins County-Madisonville Library Board acknowledges that a recent policy decision violated the state Open Meetings law. The board recently voted at a special meeting to rescind their major-gifts policy which had required the transfer of donations in excess of $5,000 to the Library Foundation.
Hopkins County Attorney Todd P'Pool said the Madisonville Public Library board didn't follow procedures when hiring contractors to renovate a library building, but board members acted in good faith.
Library Foundation members are criticizing the renovation and associated costs and using the violation to force the resignation of board member Bill Smith. State code outlines that a publicly funded entity must publicly solicit competitive bidding for projects with components that exceed $20,000. The library broad didn't solicit bids for the projects. P’Pool said the problems are technical in nature rather than criminal.