As the Fort Lupton Public and School Library builds a second facility, some details about its operations remain to be solidified. Who will provide the facility’s janitorial services? Who will plow the snow?
Currently, a 2014 intergovernmental agreement between the City of Fort Lupton and the Weld RE-8 school district outlines obligations for managing the joint library. The city and school district will soon make adjustments to their IGA to reflect responsibilities for the institution in its new form.
The current library is located in Fort Lupton High School, but a new facility is being built at 370 S. Rollie Ave. in order to better serve the community.
At its current location, library maintenance, custodial care and utilities are responsibilities of the school district, according to the IGA.
“The main purpose of redrafting the IGA is to have the library assume those responsibilities with the new facility so that the school board isn’t responsible for plowing our snow or janitorial services when it’s not inside of their building,” Library Director Thomas Samblanet said.
In addition to adjusted operations, the library board of trustees wants the updated IGA to include their board as a signee. The school district and city do not plan to include them as an official signee on the agreement. The library board proposed an updated version of the IGA with this change, which would formalize their involvement in operations and decisions as the institution evolves.
“Because we are a joint library, because we are a board of trustees, I feel like we should be a part of the discussion,” a library board member said at an Oct. 12 RE-8 study session. “The IGA is about how the library operates, which is in the purview of the library board.”
In an interview with CCM, Weld RE-8 Superintendent Alan Kaylor said that both attorneys for the city and the school district said the library could not enter into an IGA because it is not a governmental entity.
According to Fort Lupton City Administrator Chris Cross, the current IGA tasks the library board with assisting in adoption and implementation of operating policies and procedures to manage the library. He thinks this advisory role will remain in the updated version.
“They can provide local input and help make the library better,” he said.
During the study session, a library board member advocating for the three-party IGA said the library board was a signee on the 2006 version of the IGA.
Samblanet told CCM he has heard varying legal opinions in regards to the exact limits of governance of a library board. He said this situation is “one of the most confusing situations” he has ever stepped into.
“The thing I want the most at the end of the day is for everyone involved… in this decision-making process to understand just how complicated and nuanced this is,” he said. “I think all the voices in the room have something that are worth contributing, and I really hope that everyone would be willing to listen to each other’s ideas through this negotiation process.”
According to Cross, the city and school board will make final decisions on updates to the IGA.
Samblanet said there will be several steps of drafting and negotiation before an IGA is finalized.