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Auditor warns about Sussex-Lisbon agreement

 Village of Sussex - An auditor hired by the village government to review and confirm its financial records expressed concern tonight about the pending expiration of a library operations agreement between the village and the Town of Lisbon.

Vicki Hellenbrand, a Certified Public Accountant with Baker Tilly financial consultants, pointed out to village trustees that the existing long term library agreement will expire in 2014 when the village and town boards are scheduled to pay off about a half million dollar debt on the library building.

Hellenbrand said once the debt is paid off the long term agreement converts to a one year contract that can be cancelled by either community on short notice.

She said the short notice claus makes it difficult for both the Pauline Haass Library Board and the Village Board to budget for future years.

She suggested the terms of the existing long term contract should either be extended beyond 2014 or the contract be amended to provide for a longer notification requirement before one of the communities can cancel the contract.

Representatives of the village and town have been negotiating the terms of a new long term contract for more than a year.

The negotiations began after Lisbon Town Board Chairman Matt Gehrke insisted the Village of Sussex pay a bigger share of library expenses since, according to library circulation figures, more village residents use the library than town residents.

Gehrke has also said he does not want the governing boards of the communities trying to reach an agreement on the library while town officials are considering a proposal to consolidate the town and village governments.

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