It has been nearly a year since the City of Kimball was awarded a $439,511.97 Library Construction Grant from the Minnesota Department of Education for a new Kimball Area Public Library building at 50 Spruce Avenue West. This was after the City of -Kimball, with the support of the Kimball Public Library Task Force and community, submitted a Library Construction Grant application for $1,121,204 that included a local match of $560,602.
Throughout the fundraising process, the Kimball Library Building Committee’s – and the City’s – intent had been to build the library in 2019. To that end, the Committee and City spent the first half of the year finalizing building plans, soliciting bids for construction, and holding a groundbreaking for the new building Sunday, Aug. 11, during Kimball Days. Facing a tight but still realistic timeline for construction in 2019, project leaders were dismayed to find that many bids came in well over budget, and some parts of the project did not receive bids, when they were opened by the City Monday, Aug. 12.
Owing to the significant projected cost overruns, the city council decided to reject all bids, and re-bid the project early in 2020. While the delay is a disappointment to many in the Kimball area, project organizers are confident in our ability to solicit more competitive bids in early 2020 and get off to an early start this coming spring and with the project funding still intact.
What’s next? The Committee met recently and developed a schedule for the next round of public bidding. This new schedule outlines the steps toward a spring 2020 construction start. Rice Companies, the construction manager, is moving forward with final exterior and interior design decisions, seeking input from members of the Building Committee, and the City, and Great River Regional Library staff. (To see new perspectives of the floor plan and interior views of the reception area, the library, and community room, visit http://www.kimball-library.org
All local contractors are encouraged to learn more by contacting the City of Kimball. Further information will be published in the Tri-County News in mid-January.
In addition to meetings and planning for the new building, members of the Building Committee have also made trips to physically disassemble, pick up, and store quality library shelving and furniture generously donated by the College of Saint Benedict after a late summer renovation of their Clemens Library. In the spirit of a library supporting a library (and some connections), we have been fortunate to be the first on their list for consideration for these fixtures.
Remembering a special friend
While we (project organizers) wait until spring for construction to begin, we continue to take heart from the wonderful groundbreaking celebration and Lorraine Gregory’s presence. As it happened, we were able to celebrate the project, recognize the service of – and be with – Lorraine at the event three weeks before she passed away. Not only did she attend as our honored guest at the groundbreaking, but earlier that day she was also the Grand Marshal of the Kimball Days Parade.
The community’s recognition of Lorraine was a fitting tribute to her decades of service, and her family’s generous early gift to kick-off our fundraising drive. People in attendance will fondly remember city council Member Cindy Stelten helping and encouraging the 88-year-old former librarian and avid reader to get her foot up on the shovel and flash an enormous smile for the cameras during the groundbreaking.
What have we learned as a community in the past year? First, we had a big need and a big idea, and we can accomplish it. We have come a long way from a vision for a new library for all to almost having one just around the corner. Secondly, our local community and the state have shown this project, a library and space for all, is worthy of support. Finally, we have demonstrated that, when the plans change, we can take a fresh look, be flexible, and move forward. So watch what 2020 brings!
Kimball Public Library and
your year-end giving
Last year we received generous gifts through the IRA Charitable Rollover program and through online giving programs. This is an opportunity to continue to support the new library to cover the state’s gap in matching the local money raised and for fixture and equipment needs.
Individuals who are age 70 1/2 or older can make gifts to qualified charities directly through their IRA accounts, without paying federal income tax on the withdrawal. Donors who wish to make a gift to benefit the library may want to make a qualified charitable distribution. Here are the details:
• Donors must be age 70 1/2 or older at the time the gift is made.
• It is important not to withdraw the funds before making a gift. Donors must request a direct transfer of funds to a qualified public charity.
• Gifts can be used to satisfy the donor’s required minimum distribution.
• A qualified charitable distribution (QCD) is nontaxable on the federal and Minnesota tax returns. You can’t claim a charitable deduction for a QCD.
Also, Harvest Bank continues to support the library with donations made using
Harvest Bank’s Good Coin website at www.harvestbankmn.goodcoins.io. Donations through this online channel will be matched 25% by the bank up to $500 – but if the fundraising goes well, the bank may reconsider the match limit.
Alternately, you are welcome to write a check to the Kimball Area Friends of the Library, the project’s 501(c)3 fiscal agent. Checks can be dropped it off at Harvest Bank, attention Barry Belknap, or at the Kimball Public Library. In all cases, an acknowledgement letter will be sent to you for tax purposes. Please indicate that your gift is for the Kimball Public Library capital fund.