Brentwood finalizes guidelines for spending Holt family donation to library


Brentwood finalizes guidelines for spending Holt family donation to library

By MATT BLOIS

The City of Brentwood finalized the rules for spending a large donation to the John P. Holt Brentwood Library at a City Commission meeting on Monday night.

The City Commission will need to approve each expenditure, and the Library Board will present a list of suggested projects at least once a year.

The city will save 75 percent of the roughly $4.2 million donation as an endowment. That endowment will generate interest that can be used for future projects. The city plans to use the other 25 percent for short term projects.

The donation came from a longtime Brentwood family. The Home Page previously reported that O’Delle Holt’s will gave the Brentwood Library a substantial sum of money. In return, the city changed the library’s name to honor her late husband, John P. Holt.

The City Commission also has the power to amend the guidelines in the future.

The Library Board still hasn’t suggested spending the money on any large projects. The board plans to create a list of projects that could improve the library’s services.

The city has already used about $15,000 of the Holt fund to pay for the name change. After the name change the library had to change its signs, logo and other branded material.

The City Commission used some of the money right away. At the meeting on Monday night, it approved the design and wording of two plaques that will recognize the Holt family’s donation to the library as well as the slaves that contributed to the Holt family’s wealth.

The plaques will be 18 inches by 12 inches and will cost $2,100.

The text of the plaque honoring the Holt family says, “The City of Brentwood gratefully accepts the bequest of John Page Holt (1890-1984), O’Delle Holt (1896-1993), and Charles Witherspoon, Jr. (1927-2017). Their generosity will forever enrich the lives of Brentwood residents.”

The text of the plaque honoring the family’s former slaves says, “This plaque serves as a memorial to the enslaved people on the Holt Plantation, the names of whom are known but to God, whose labor helped make the John P. Holt bequest possible.”

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