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Library trustees mull over depository agreements

by Garrett Fuller | November 23, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
Democrat photo/Garrett Fuller — "Disguise-a-Turkey" contest entries are seen Nov. 16 in the vestibule at the Moniteau County Library at Wood Place in California. The entries were submitted Nov. 1-18, and members of the public can vote on the submissions Monday-Dec. 2.

Several Moniteau County Library board trustees are concerned about Commerce Bank fees the library might pay.

Concerns about the fees came up during the Moniteau County Library Board of Trustees' monthly meeting Wednesday.

Circulation manager and bookkeeper Erin Ogg provided the board's monthly update on finances. She said Commerce Bank, with whom the library has an interest-bearing account, presented the board with two depository agreements for the account.

The library could enter into a new four-year agreement with the bank, or extend its current agreement for two years. They could negotiate for a set interest rate or a one-percent floor.

"... I think, with interest rates fluctuating, we may have an opportunity to make more," Walker said. "I feel like maybe we should just do a two-year extension."

Ogg said Commerce Bank charges a monthly bank service charge and statement fee.

Board President Mike Staton said his wife pulled their business account from Commerce Bank a couple years ago over the fees.

Melissa Hindman, a board member, said she heard other customers at Commerce Bank complain about the fees, including a $4 fee for transfers between two personal accounts at the bank.

However, Ogg explained the library went with Commerce Bank due to its low fees and higher interest returns. She also said most banks would charge fees on an interest-bearing account.

"I think when we (selected a bank), we had different bids from different banks," Ogg said. "And the reason why we went with Commerce is because they all had fees, for some reason, and theirs was the lowest along with the highest interest rate."

Walker said she is fine with keeping the account at Commerce Bank, but said the board could also solicit bids from other banks if they wish to change institutions.

The current depository agreement expires Dec. 31, allowing the decision to be tabled for the December meeting while they continue to negotiate terms.

In other action:

• The board discussed a potential English as a Second Language course. A former course taught by Lincoln University is no longer offered, and the former teacher retired after contracting COVID-19. The library may have found a new teacher for the course.

• Walker mentioned the "Disguise-a-Turkey" program created by Jessica George, media and programming specialist and circulation assistant, to clear out a craft closet. Patrons submitted 49 decorated turkeys Nov. 1-18. The public may vote on favorites Nov. 28-Dec. 2. First- and second-place winners will be announced in December for two age categories of preschool-13 years old and 14 years old and up.

• The library sold two more refurbished computers. Seventeen computers remain to be sold.

• Walker said accessible handrails will be installed in the upstairs restrooms.

• Materials for the "Check-Out Challenge" program have been purchased. Walker said participants in the adult reading program will have their name entered into a drawing for one of 13 gift baskets each time they check out eligible materials, with a limit of one entry per day. The program will run Jan. 2-Feb. 28, with the drawing scheduled for March 1.

• Exterior building repairs will be tabled until spring due to a lack of communication from contractors.

The board will next meet at 10 a.m. Dec. 21 in the upper level of the library at 501 S. Oak St., in California.

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