Letter: Give us a break Niles Maine Library

Dear Editor,

I’m talking about the sinkhole for real estate tax dollars known as the Niles Maine District Library. The Niles Library District changed its name to the Niles Maine District Library in April. This addition of one word caused the library to change their stationary, forms, letterheads, and legal expenses. I don’t know what those costs were.

The library board intends to change their lighted exterior sign on the corner of Oakton and Waukegan roads. The cost to rehabilitate that sign with new graphics and the new name for a perfectly functioning sign is $56,717. The new graphics are certain to be a distraction and safety hazard at a busy intersection. This new sign is also not in compliance with the new Niles sign code. There is no reason for the village to give the library a pass especially because of the safety hazard.

This is just the beginning on signs, the library wants to add a new ground sign on the northwest corner that says Niles Maine District Library, plus two new ground signs that say enter library by the parking lot. Cost of the above is $20,000.

There’s more, at a cost of $25,067 the library board proposes to install 24” aluminum letters on the north and west sides of the building reading “Niles Maine District Library” for those that missed the four ground signs and can’t find the library. Are you sitting down? In order to install one of these signs they need to build a four-foot brick parapet wall at a guestimated price $25,000 (no firm estimate here). There is also a smaller sign on the south wall at a bargain price of $4064.50.

Hold on, there’s 18, six-foot high lamppost banners at a cost of $15,625 and six wall banners at a cost of $3809.04. These banners say NMDL in the event you missed the other signage it tells you a lot.

Finally there is approximately $10,000 in electrical, $5,000 in landscaping and a performance bond of $1818. This extravaganza comes out to a cost of $162,413.52 plus the cost of changing stationary, etc.

The new look of the library with the animated video sign and all the banners is carnival, circus, side-show, Las Vegas strip, take your pick.

My estimate is this will hit the average taxpayer about $8 in the wallet. But what’s $8 on an $8,000 tax bill – chump change. Taxpayers are not paying attention and few if any attend library board meetings.

Joe Makula

Niles tax payer

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