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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Hartford Public Library IRS 990 forms...full of fact or fiction?

How many people does it take...to run the New Hartford Public Library? Guess it depends on what year you are talking about.

We recently blogged about some of the inconsistencies found in the IRS Form 990s filed by the New Hartford Public Library in regard to the salary paid to the Library Director...IRS Form 990 and the New Hartford Public Library...

Further review of the 990s give rise to even more questions that would be worth asking. Actually we find it hard to believe that a board made up of professionals has not asked these questions already starting with why was the board of trustees not provided with a copy of the 990 prior to it being filed? Why is Mr. Wiatr the only trustee that is concerned?

For example, according to their most recent 990s:


Click on graphic for a larger image.

In 2010, the town reduced the library funding from the $535,341 budgeted in 2009 to a 2010 budget of $475,000 due to the financial stress that the town found itself in. That's a reduction of about $60,000 per year.

In November 2009, during the town budget workshops which were held by Councilwoman Krupa and Councilman Woodland in preparation of the town's 2010 budget, members of the library board vehemently proclaimed that they could not manage to run the library with that amount of reduced funding.

Yet, according to their 990 filed for the year 2010, they reported that they actually increased their workforce by eight (8) people to their current level of 29 employees.

In 2011 and 2012, the town once again cut the library budget by another $75,000 to the current budget of $400,000. However, in answer to the town's further reduced funding, they chose to close the library one day a week rather than reduce their staff...so now they are open fewer hours, but with the same number of employees as they had in 2010.

What we really find interesting is that each month this year, according to reports distributed at board meetings, their usage statistics have consistently shown a 24% reduction over last year's totals when compared month to month. When this is mentioned at their meetings, they try to blame it on the closing of the library on Wednesdays.

There are seven (7) days in a week; if your usuage declines by 24% due to being closed one day [Wednesday] a week, could it be that you chose to close on the wrong day? Or could there be something else at play here?

Mr. Wiatr wanted to try to analyze the usage to see if another day might be a better choice to close so he asked for usage reports from previous years. He was told that they had been destroyed and were no longer available. So what did they base their Wednesday closure decision on if the usage reports are no longer available?

What is interesting is, on page 6 of the 2010 IRS 990 form, under Section B. Policies...it says:
Does the organization have a written document retention and destruction policy? Answer: YES
Wonder what that policy is...or for that matter where it is stored?

We are also wondering what happened to their volunteers between 2008 when they reported 150 volunteers and now when they are reporting only 40 volunteers. The 990 says to estimate if necessary...but really, that is quite a range of volunteers. Is there a reason that their "estimate" of volunteers is that far apart over the course of a year?

Here's another example of the 990 reporting that doesn't make any sense when you compare the numbers year-to-year:

Why is the insurance expense for 2009 only $2,822 when the other years it is roughly $10,000-$11,000?

Here, for those that are interested, are the New Hartford Public Library 990s:

2007

2008

2009

2010

Next, we will report on their 2012 budget, not the one you will be voting on, but the budget they put together in the interim. We cannot believe that they "balanced" their budget by anticipating additional revenue from both the town and county...revenue that they have been advised will not be forthcoming.

To be continued...

2 comments:

Leonardo Da Vinci said...

Face it. Wiatr won't get anything from these people because they don't want him to have it.

Get less money but hire 6 more people? I'm not surprised.

Remember, when you get enough educated people together, the first thing that goes out the window is common sense!

Anonymous said...

The O.D. is a little late warning everyone about the traffic jam going on at J-Kay. The first week Aldi's opens we should put the town board out there to direct traffic....This is a disaster waiting to happen. Board ought to be proud of themselves!!!! Kelly must have greased somebody's hand.Oh well Merry Christmas to All!!!