The Brentwood Library wants to ask you how to spend $1 million


The Brentwood Library wants to ask you how to spend $1 million

By MATT BLOIS

Brentwood wants to use surveys later this year to collect suggestions for spending some of the money from a large donation to the John P. Holt Brentwood Library.

The board is still writing questions for the short survey, so residents can’t weigh in just yet.

In 2017, Brentwood accepted a $4.2 million donation form the Holt family and renamed the library to honor John P. Holt.

The Holt family has owned a large property on Crockett Road since the early 1800s. O’Delle Holt gave the money to the city in her will.

The City Commission recently finalized the guidelines for spending that money. The city will save 75 percent of the donation as an endowment to provide a source of funding in the future.

Brentwood plans to use 25 percent—just over $1 million—for short term projects at the library.

According to the policy adopted by the City Commission, the funds have to enhance the facilities, grounds or services of the library.

The money can’t be spent on normal operating costs that would otherwise be paid by the city, and projects can’t create an ongoing funding requirement that lasts more than four years. 

At a meeting on Wednesday morning, the Library Board decided to use online and paper surveys to collect suggestions from library patrons, city staff, staff from local schools, community groups and other residents of Brentwood.

City Commissioner Betsy Crossley said the purpose of the survey is just to gather ideas. It’s not a vote where the most popular idea wins.

The library plans to use social media and city communications to spread the word about the electronic surveys. The board also discussed publicizing the survey on check-out receipts at the library or water bills.

Recognizing that not everyone in Brentwood uses the internet, the Library Board also said it will be important to have paper surveys available at the library and other locations around the city, such as the Martin Center.

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