If it is done in the sunshine, with eyes wide open on each side, it can be beneficial to consolidate...however, this library board hasn't even made a public announcement that they intend to take that first step: to become a district (separate taxing body, with fewer checks and balances and lots more $$$ legal responsibilities). Once that occurred, as said before, the second step is a baby one, as stated in a previous post: no taxpayer input, no taxpayer recourse,, no referendum, no muss, no fuss.I always believed that consolidation of services was a good idea - Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills are looking to consolidate police forces. But it has to be done with an eye to fiscal responsibility and without diminishing services. For more than 40 years I have been a proponent of consolidating fire and police forces, but each village can't stand the thought of giving up control.
And voila! Lyons taxpayers would contribute $675,500 in property tax and PPRT hard revenue to McCook's $481,323, based on both entities 2011 Financial Statements.
And in return, Lyons taxpayers pick up responsibility for paying significantly more than half the combined debt:$1,500,000 McCook's owes in addition to the $250,000 our library currently has. Combined debt payments would zoom from the current $20,000 a year (`3% of our tax dollars, leaving 97% for actually funding services and programs) to $164,185, based on the 2011 filings (which would eat up ~ 14% of the combined tax dollars, reducing the portion available for services and programs to 86%).
If the Lyons facility were to remain open - and that is a very big if - services and programs would of necessity be diminished, if there were no tax increases. As you noted previously, Just A Thought, Library Director Horn ran a tight fiscal ship. Not much waste or inefficiency to cut out. And economies of scale? Well, she's on leave and not there any more to help out. And my research on the performance of the "leader of the pack" of the Library Board in a similiar setting - links to come later - is hardly comforting. So there we are...