Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Text Size

Site Search

Local Resident Voices Concerns about Public Library Dollars

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY – In October last year,  iSurf published a story following the temporary relocation of the Hopkins County – Madisonville Public Library to the Parkway Plaza Mall.

In the closing of the article, we asked  readers to weigh in with their opinion on where the Library should be located. Click here to read the full story. 


Recently, Hopkins County resident Scott Rogers sent a letter to iSurf asking that his voice be heard concerning money spent by the Hopkins County – Madisonville Public Library.  The opinions set forth in this letter do not necessarily reflect the position of iSurfWKY.  We do believe that more people like Mr. Rogers should pay attention to where our tax dollars are spent.  We welcome dissenting opinions to this article.

Scott Rogers writes:
First of all let us start back in 2007 and 2008, the fringe benefits was $30,541. In 2009 the fringe benefits was $63,041. That is a $32,500 gap. I sent a certified letter to Lisa Wigley regarding the fringe benefits. In a letter to Ms. Harrison, at the Attorney General’s office, Ms. Wigley never denied me access to open records. She explained that the library’s annual reports are always on file with the local mayor’s office, the city clerk’s office, the county judge executive’s office, and the county court clerk’s office. I would like the people of Hopkins County to go and make a copy of the 2009 Kentucky annual report and look at all the money that is given to the Hopkins County libraries.

The Nortonville library was closed ten years ago and now runs on donations and volunteers. What I do not understand is the Hopkins County library is given $523,000 divided by two, which is the city of Madisonville, KY and the County of Hopkins County which comes to $261.500 each. The state aid grant is $36,112, other state government revenue is $8,426. Other Operating Revenue is $59,219. The total Operating Revenue is $626.757. The City of Dawson Springs pays the Hopkins County Library $28,000 on top of the $626.757.

 The Hopkins County Library paid $85,000 for a building next to the library. Did the library board have a contractor look at the building before paying $85,000? Now both of the buildings are empty, and the Hopkins County Library is at the Parkway Plaza Mall. I recall some years ago they had to pump concrete into the ground to keep the mall from falling in.

I located a letter dated July 23, 2009 sent to Lisa Wigley, Director of Hopkins County-Madisonville Library, concerning structural issues from RBS Design Group Architectures.
RE: Structural Issues RBS-Y-7102
Based upon their findings, RBS Design Group Architecture agrees with their conclusion that the building is not safe for occupancy in its current conditions. It is therefore, our conclusion that the building be evacuated until such time that the proper structural repairs are made. As to the cost of these repairs, given the unusual conditions, it is difficult to estimate but our initial opinion is that these repairs could cost $50,000 to $100,000.
I was told, for a structural engineer to look at a three story building it could cost $25,000 and up just to see how to fix the building, that’s not doing any work.

In a second report from Willkie Structural Engineering, Inc. Evansville, Indiana dated July 22, 2009, it states:  we cannot estimate the life expectancy of the structure. However, in our opinion the structural integrity of large portions of the first floor has been compromised and presents a potentially dangerous situation.

I located a copy of the supreme court of Kentucky Cape Publications, Inc. The Courier Journal, V. The University of Louisville Foundation.
The stated goal of the open records act is to ensure the “free and open examination of public records” KRS 61.871. Inspection of records may reveal whether the public servants are indeed serving the public, and the policy of disclosure.
I am adding library to this opinion of the attorney general that the university refusal to release the names of the donors and potential donors on whose behalf the university fund raising efforts can be supported by the privacy exception set forth in KRS-61.878 of the open records act.

There was $500,000 given to the Hopkins County Library. What is that money being used for? In 2008 there was $100,000 from the Coal Severants given to the Hopkins County Library. A total of $1,226,757 has been given to the Hopkins County Library. When will it stop?  From the city, county, Coal Severance, and donations from the families of loved ones that have passed away. This is from 2007 to 2009.

I am not for closing the library. Why spend over a million dollars on a building that is falling in and then move to the mall which is falling in?

If the city and county kept the $261,500 they give the library, what could the city and county do with this money?  A lot.  So I ask you Hopkins County to call the city and county and ask or tell them to spend the money on things that could help, not put us in a black hole.

Scott Rogers

I am providing copies of the documents I have received for everyone to see.

Documents (click the images below to enlarge):





iSurf Local News & Community Information Affecting Madisonville and Hopkins County Kentucky. Make us your homepage and send us your local news to publish. Add your news, calendar events, or FREE classifieds easily with registration and use of our easy features at the top of the page. Madisonville - Hopkins County Kentucky's homepage! All iSurf Information and Programming Rights are reserved and can be used only with proper reference and link back to this site unless otherwise released.

All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 2010 iSurfWKY, Inc.