Does the spending never end?
There was a “feel good” story in this weekend’s Ottawa Citizen, Vending machine library hits the spot by Joanne Chianello. I don’t know if it’s only me but when I read this, there was one paragraph that jumped out at me:
“The capital expenditure for the two machines, which included installation and set-up costs, was $100,000. Another $50,000 in operating costs are associated with handling returns and re-stocking the machines, plus a new service where staff hold “library hours” twice a week at the community centre. (This is in addition to weekly bookmobile service in the area.)”
$100,000 for two machines? And another $50,000 in operating costs?
I took the liberty of writing to my councillor, Maria McRae, on this matter. I anxiously await the explanation of these costs.
E-mail to Maria McRae:
Dear Councillor McRae,
I read in the Ottawa Citizen of the new library kiosks in the Hunt Club Community Centre. The story said they cost $100,000 to buy the machines and then it will be another $50,000 in operating costs. And that is in addition to new on-site “library hours” and the weekly bookmobile costs. Would kindly let me know the cost breakdown and the justification of the added expenditures? $50,000 in operating costs seems rather high. Is this per annum?
I look forward to hearing from you very soon on this. Library budgets are already over budget so these additional costs only add to the pressures which are always covered by property taxes.