Thursday, November 09, 2017

#NYLA2017 : Legal Issues in Financing and Building Libraries

Robert Schofield, Esq. and Ellen Bach, Esq.

Schofield and Bach walked through different scenarios and fielded questions from the audience.  This is a session where the information and the answers are specific to specific library types in NYS.  In order to understand these issues, a library needs to understand how it is chartered and then the NYS laws that relate to that charter.  Recognize that if the library is a public entity, what drives the project will be different from a library that is a private entity.

Besides the law, consider talking with an attorney versed in library law and/or a public finance adviser. 

If the library is part of a larger entity (municipality), that entity may be able to provide funding.

They noted that libraries can often set money aside and designate it for a specific purpose.  Both said that the money must be set aside for a declared reason. If it is just “extra money”, the  state may ask why there is extra money.  If the funds are from collected taxes, taxpayers could argue that the taxes should be lowered.

Is your need a true emergency situation?  If yes, some avenues may be own to you.

Very interesting that public entities must pay prevailing wages.  That is not just for construction.  Prevailing wage laws may touch other aspects of the library (e.g., building services). 

Zoning laws are rules adopted locally.  Zoning laws touch every type of library.  True government libraries may be able to claim zoning immunity.  They also talked about zoning deference.

No comments: