James Johnson, Jr., Chair
900 North Ashley Drive
Tampa, Florida 33602
James Martin, Jr., Vice-Chair
William Scheuerle, Secretary
Phone: (813) 273-3660
Fax: (813) 273-3707

Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library Board



The meeting was called to order at 4:15pm.


Library Board Members Present:
Sandra Cameron, Anniece Ross
Ian Greig, Kay O'Rourke
Catherine Bartolotti, Dora Reeder
Helen Swisshelm, Margaret Fisher
Mary Silver

Library Board Excused:
Mary Sherman
Bill Scheuerle

Library Board Absent:

Library Staff Present:
Joe Stines, Director of Libraries
Marcee Challener, Manager Public Service
David Wullschleger, Manager Operations & Technology
Linda Gillon, Manager Staff & Administrative Support

Suzanne George, Facilities Coordinator
Jackie Zebos, Administrative Services
Michele Crowe, Secretary

Special Guests:
Assistant County Attorney, Linda Davidson

Members of the Public:
Noted in minutes


There was one correction to the May minutes - Mary Silver was present. Minutes were accepted with correction.







Chairman, Kay O'Rourke stated that the Planning Committee met on June 22 at the Austin Davis Library. Swati Bose and Israel Grajales presented the available sites for the Upper Tampa Bay Library. Since one of the sites is located in close proximity to power lines, Ms. O'Rourke recommended that a study be made about the effects on individuals. Mr. Stines stated that Mr. Kelly is meeting with Terra Brook and making progress with some of the obstacles encountered. He also stated that information has been gathered regarding the power lines and that there is a call into the school board since they have built several schools near power lines.

Someone from the audience asked whether there was additional information on the Bill Bishop proposal. Mr. Stines stated that Mr. Kelly would be making contact with Mr. Bishop.

Ms. Cameron stated that she had spoken to an electrical engineer from the school board. He stated that the power lines were not a problem for the computer monitors as long as the construction plan took that into consideration.


Chairman, Helen Swisshelm stated that the Committee submitted several opportunities for efficiencies to the BOCC in March. They also recommended the addition of new software that includes the cash collection module for DYNIX. The BOCC flagged all of these items. Ms. Swisshelm feels that when these items come before the BOCC on August 2nd that there is a very good chance of having them funded. If they are not funded the Library Board will resubmit them during the next budget cycle.






Chairman, Dora Reeder stated that the Nominating Committee met on June 22 and presented the following slate of officers: William Scheuerle, Chairman, Helen Swisshelm, Vice Chairman, and Kay O'Rourke, Secretary. The chairman explained the nominating process for the new members. The Chairman asked for nominations from the floor. There were none.




Joe Stines recognized Mike Kelly and stated that both he and Mr. Kelly have instructions from the County Commissioners to stay on track with the library projects that were funded last fall. Mr. Kelly presented two South Brandon sites for the Board's consideration.

  1. Lithia - The contract provides for the purchase of four acres and an additional half acre for storm water easement. The total area is 4.54 acres and the purchase price, supported by two appraisals, is $550,000. The budget for land acquisition is $600,000. No special site development costs are anticipated. There is a provision in the contract to obtain a zoning amendment to construct a 25,000-sq. ft. library. Mr. Kelly feels that can be accomplished within the timeframe of the contract.

  2. East Bloomingdale High School - The total area to be acquired would be 5.9 acres with an access easement approximately 4 tenths of an acre. The total area is 6.3 acres and the purchase price is $265,000, which is significantly below the appraisal. Some site development costs in the range of $100,000 - $150,000 are anticipated. The zoning is in place so no zoning modifications would be needed.

Israel Grajales reviewed the site plans.

  1. Lithia - The configuration of the lot limits the location of the library. The site allows for 193 parking spaces and a 10,000-sq. ft. library with potential for a 15,000-sq. ft. expansion. There is no traffic light currently at Lithia and Little Road. The site has access from Little Road or New Rivers Parkway.

  2. East Bloomingdale - This site is rectangular with a conservation area that serves as a natural buffer. An easement was obtained to provide a left turn lane at Goring Oaks. The site allows for 200 parking spaces and a 10,000-sq. ft. library with potential for a 15,000-sq. ft. expansion. A right turn lane at Bloomingdale Ave. would have to be requested. This site is located approximately 800 feet from the traffic light.

Ms. Cameron asked whether there were any plans to put a road through to Lithia Pinecrest from the East Bloomingdale library site. Mr. Grajales responded that there is that possibility but the developer would have to have the property rezoned.

Ms. O'Rourke asked, "How large is the entire block and how much distance is there?" Mr. Grajales responded that there was approximately 1,600 feet. Future development would have to be rezoned. The current zoning is agricultural.

Ms. Swisshelm asked, "How many parking spaces are planned for regional libraries?" Mr. Grajales answered that the maximum is 200 spaces.

Mr. Greig asked "Since the County could save almost $200,000 on the Bloomingdale site and the land next to it is not developed, would it be possible to purchase additional land? Mr. Grajales responded that the additional land was not needed. Swati Bose, Architectural Services, responded that the contract which has been negotiated is already larger than the initial 4-5 acres that is needed. New Tampa Regional is located on 4 acres, Jan Platt Regional on 3.5 acres and Jimmie B. Keel on 5 acres. Mr. Greig then asked what the timeframe would be if the County were to purchase additional land. Mr. Kelly stated that it would depend on the negotiations.

The Chairman asked for audience comments (with a limit of three minutes each):

George Lehman - Bloomingdale East - Mr. Lehman stated that he felt that the Lithia site was better due to the amount of traffic at all times on Bloomingdale Ave. The expansion of the Lithia neighborhood is up and coming and is more conducive to students of that area with its easy access.

Mark Simms - Bloomingdale West - Mr. Simms spoke on behalf of the Lithia site. He stated that he is a high school teacher and the most dangerous time of the day is driving to school and out of school when all of the high school students are leaving. Having a library along Bloomingdale Ave. would be like having a library on Highway 60 in Brandon and he felt that future development would be in the Lithia area.

Todd Schlemmer - Bloomingdale East - Mr. Schlemmer stated that he and his wife have two small children and travel to the Brandon Regional. They are anxiously looking forward to something more convenient and believe that the Lithia site would be most convenient to the surrounding developments. He also stated that traffic is less and access is easier. His concern with the Bloomingdale site was future development of the adjacent property.

Angelina Staton - Riverhills - Mrs. Staton said that she is an English teacher and the mother of small children. She felt that the Library Board had overlooked whom the library will serve. There is already a library on Parsons that serves the Brandon area. The area around Bloomingdale High School is very congested and she worries about the high school students' driving habits. She was also very concerned about what would be constructed on the adjacent property. The Lithia location is serene, peaceful, and a pleasant drive. Choosing the Lithia site would anticipate growth. It would serve the Fishawk area and East Hillsborough County.

Brian Staton - Riverhills - Mr. Staton said that when school is in session the Bloomingdale area is a high school dominated area. He agrees that the Lithia site is more serene. The Lithia location will serve the elementary school children as a place to go after school. He feels that the Lithia site is the best value. With future development there will be a large number of people who will visit this site who would not drive to the Bloomingdale site especially when school is in session.

Pat Hummer - Riverhills - Ms. Hummer stated that as a retired high school teacher, she would not want to subject citizens and their children to the traffic created by the high school students. She felt that having the YMCA so close is a negative as it generates more traffic. She urged the Board to consider the library users from Durant and Bloomingdale who will be more centrally located to the Lithia site.

Frenchy Fortin - Riverhills Homeowners Association - Mr. Fortin said that all the Riverhills homeowners welcome the library at the Lithia site. Traffic and access is an ongoing problem on Bloomingdale. The distance between the existing library and the Bloomingdale site is a luxury for just a few homeowners. The driving distance is 4.5 miles if there is an access from Lithia it would be 4 miles. The Lithia site would provide service for many more homeowners and future developments and South Brandon residents.

Mary Cardinez - President, Lithia Ladies - Ms. Cardinez said this is an organization of the Lithia Ridge community. Residents are in favor of the Lithia site. There are bike paths from Lithia Ridge and Riverhills that never take you on the main highway. The county has installed sidewalks that would encompass many other communities as well.

Lauren McKeaver - Buckhorn - Ms. McKeaver pointed out that the teachers, honor students, orchestra, and band parking lot is located on the same side of Bloomingdale High School as the library site. There is no traffic light for those cars. The only way for cars to leave the parking lot is to have the traffic stop and let them out.

Ellen Gates - Bloomingdale West - Ms. Gates asked, "Are there any plans for a library south of Alafia?" Mr. Stines stated that the Library Board has not voted on their unfunded list, which will be done before next spring. Eventually there will have to be a library south of Alafia. She went on to say that everything being said about the Bloomingdale area was true. There is a lot of congestion, traffic, and growth. They have a lot of people and have a need for a library where people will gravitate. Youth need to have very positive role models and positive institutions in their community. The YMCA is attracting large numbers of teens and a library next to the high school would be a very positive thing for the community. Ms. Gates strongly recommends the Bloomingdale site.

Denise Spidel - Woodstock Trails - Ms. Spidel said that both sites are close to several schools. There are quite a few families who go to the library right after school. Even though this area is not as highly populated as the Bloomingdale area, in the long run the Lithia site will serve a larger population.

Candy Martin - Owner of the Bloomingdale site- Ms. Martin said that this property has been in her family for over one hundred years. Ms. Martin feels that it is a good location and is working with the Real Estate Department to make it a success.

Mr. Greig thanked the public for coming and sharing their concerns. He asked the following questions: "What is being proposed to be built directly south of the Lithia site?" Mr. Grajales stated that at this point it is not known. The owner of the property stated that he would work with the library.

"Do we have any library that coordinates with the school to use their parking?" Mr. Stines stated that there is an agreement with the elementary school in New Tampa. They use the library's parking lot early in the morning and in the evenings the library could use theirs. He also stated that during visits to the Bloomingdale site there did not seem to be enough parking for the school. It's easier to coordinate with the elementary school because the library's busiest times are after school. In the mornings there should be enough parking to accommodate the library's customers, story hour and the school's parking.

"How far is the Lithia site from any potential library in Fishawk?" Mr. Stines stated that the development of Fishawk is multi-faceted and will cover a large area. The Lithia site would impact the location of a library in Fishawk, probably locating it to the south, southwest instead of the north, northeast.

"Is there any possibility of making a walking connection from the high school over the conservation area?" Mr. Stines stated he had concerns with this and felt that the principal would not support this concept since it is an isolated and unsupervised area. However, there is a sidewalk that does make it accessible along Bloomingdale.

There were comments from the audience that high school students would be using the library's parking lot and that the surrounding churches charge a monthly fee to the students who are unable to park in the school's full lot.

Ms. O'Rourke stated that the Library Board was astounded by the impact that the Jan K. Platt Regional has had on the Port Tampa and Peninsular Libraries and that she would hate to see that happen in Brandon.

Mr. Stines stated that there was a public siting meeting held and that the results were very similar to today's comments. When Mr. Kelly takes the Board's recommendation to the BOCC they will review the public siting information.

Anniece Ross moved that the Board recommend the Lithia Pinecrest site. Cathy Bartolotti seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Kelly stated that the recommendation would be taken to the BOCC on July 11, 2001.

The Chairman asked if there were any further comments from the public. There were none.


County Attorney, Linda Davidson, stated that there needed to be a correction the minutes of the last meeting in the Director's report section. The staff conducted a review of Internet usage, as required by the Library Board's policy and that Mr. Todd and Ms. Davidson had discussed the review with Mr. Stines.

Ms. Swisshelm moved that the correction be made and incorporated into the minutes. Mr. Greig seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Ms. Reeder had concerns regarding West Tampa. Mr. Stines stated that he met with Mike Kelly who has placed on the BOCC's July 11, 2001, an agenda item for the approval of a contract to lease the land behind the West Tampa Library. The agreement is necessary to provide staff parking and to meet set back requirements. Ms. Reeder said, "This is something that has taken so long. I have traveled all over the county selecting sites for new libraries, the people of West Tampa are asking for improvements not a new library. It has the potential to be a very beautiful library."

Mr. Stines stated the Governor has included full funding in the State's budget. Hillsborough County will receive a $500,000 grant for the West Tampa construction project.

Restoration of the brick and the roof will soon be underway at the West Tampa Library. The design will continue as soon as the lease agreement is approved. Ms. Swisshelm made the motion that Dora Reeder represent the Library Board at the July 11 BOCC meeting if necessary, on the issue of the West Tampa Expansion. Kay O'Rourke seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.


Ms. Ross commented on the Budget Report. Mr. Stines stated that the error message that was appearing on the Budget Report Character 30, Other Operating Expenses, Miscellaneous has been addressed. A bill has gone to the Bank of America for their portion of the property tax for the Platt Regional Library.




Meeting adjourned at 6pm

Next Library Board Meeting:
         Date: July 26, 2001
         Time: 4pm-6pm
         Location: Jan Kaminis Platt Regional Library

                 - Unless notified otherwise

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