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Library to raise funds with lottery
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PALM HARBOR – The Palm Harbor Library will begin raising funds for the eventual replacement of the roof and air-conditioning units through an annual campaign dubbed “Raise the Roof.”

The effort might not see fruition until 2017, but library director Gene Coppola said he might not have any other means of coming up with the money by that time.

“The ultimate reason for the Raise the Roof campaign is finding an annual revenue stream to raise capital funds,” he explained. “I don’t want to wait like the last time, until the water comes through the roof.”

The roof and air-conditioning units were replaced in 2002 for a combined cost of almost $300,000. Coppola said he anticipates the cost to be much higher in 2017. He would hope to be able to secure Penny for Pinellas funds to replace both by then.

“But I don’t want to assume that the library will be able to get any of those moneys,” he said. “I don’t really have any other moneys dedicated to the roof.”

The library, funded through a special property tax in Palm Harbor, used to have a line item for capital projects, but since the recession, “we’re lucky to have enough money to run the building,” Coppola said.

The Raise the Roof campaign is plan B. Starting likely next month, the library will begin selling 1,000 Raise the Roof tickets at $50 each. Up to five people can share a ticket. Of the $50,000 the tickets will raise, 62 percent – a total of $31,000 – will go back to cash prizes for the participants.

“You can play the lotto, but the odds (for this fundraiser) are going to be a lot better,” Coppola said.

First place for the drawing will be $10,000, second $5,000 and third $2,500. The drawing also will award a total of 10 $750 prizes and 15 $400 prizes.

Subtracting out $1,500 in administrative fees, the remaining proceeds dedicated toward the roof fund will be $17,500.

“Which is still a drop in the bucket, but a heck of a lot more than we have now,” Coppola said.

The funds will be kept in a separate account. The campaign and drawing will be accompanied by an event Saturday, Nov. 15, at The Center of Palm Harbor. Coppola said he planned to repeat the event annually to help the account gradually accrue funds, Coppola said.

The board that oversees the library – Palm Harbor Community Services Agency, or PHCSA – has voiced approval of Coppola’s idea.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit the library, 2330 Nebraska Ave., or call 784-3332.

New officers

The new PHCSA board selected new officers Dec. 18, during its second meeting under the new county ordinance.

Elliott Stern, one of four recent PHCSA appointees, nominated the officers to lead the board based on their experience with the agency.

Rex Haslam, who has been chairing the agency since late 2011, was selected to continue his role. Holly Bird, who was the county’s sole appointee prior to the change at the beginning of the current fiscal year, was selected as vice chair. Tom McKone, who has served on the board previously, was named secretary.

Rob Moore has attended agency meetings as a member of the East Lake Community Library advisory board and now is the library’s official representative. He was selected as treasurer. The rest of the board approved the selection, voting in favor of the nominations.

Upcoming retreat

The PHCSA board will gather for an annual retreat to review policies and help orientate its newest members to procedures Saturday, Jan. 25, 9 a.m. to noon, at the Palm Harbor Library. The meeting is open to the public as per the state Government in the Sunshine Act. The board usually meets on third Wednesdays, 7 p.m.
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