Re-8 board opts to sign off on library purchase

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The Weld Re-8 board of education decided to put its signature on the purchase of two acres of land for a new Fort Lupton Public & School Library.

The June 3 vote came after a brief executive session. The land is near the new home of Dale's Pharmacy and north of state Highway 52. Fort Lupton City Council approved the purchase earlier in the week, despite objections that the library board and not the city was the main financial entity.

It took three votes . One involved allowing the district to remain as a signee on the purchase of the new building, pending further advice from legal counsel. That vote was 5-1. Cody LeBlanc voted no.

The second vote was to let the district sign off on the purchase agreement. The vote was the same, and so was the dissenting voter.

"I don't feel it's advantageous for the district to have the library move out (of Fort Lupton High School)," LeBlanc said. "The space is perfectly adequate. I would like to see them stay in the present facility."

The third vote allowed the district to be a signor on the title to the land. That vote was 6-0.

"I figure as long as we're going to have to have it, the district should be able to lay our stakes to it," LeBlanc said. 

In late May, legal counsel advised the school board that its first choice was to decide whether to be a signor on the agreement. The city and the district are library partners through the High Plains Library District.

Superintendent Alan Kaylor said the district is not the financial agent for this purchase.

"It's my understanding we don't have a say," he told the board May 25. "We aren't the fiscal agent."

"I don't want to delay this. I think we're ready to move forward," said board member Kehle Griego. "I'd like information on why they (the city) is being negative)."

The issue that hung up city council was whether the library board was the fiscal agent in this matter. Councilman Tommy Holton said yes.

"They operated as its own entity from 1985 to 2014," Holton said. "They were a signatory at one time. That's why they moved it over to us."

City Attorney Andy Ausmus didn't think so.

"The IRS doesn't recognize them as an entity," Ausmus said. "Contractually, it's impossible to do what you are suggesting. They are not a corporate entity. The board is not a fiscal agent."

The purchase price is around $850,000, according to outgoing library Director Sarah Franks. 

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