Capital Campaign funds depleted

W hile controversy surrounds the Pember Library regarding the recent state audit which was critical of their financial activities and their improper use of Pember Foundation funds to pay bills, it has come to light that another Pember account has been severely depleted.

This account, the Capital Campaign Fund, was formed in the 1990s to house funds raised to finance the expansion of the Pember Library and Museum.  That expansion envisioned doubling the size of the Pember building, adding an elevator, expanding exhibit and office space and installing a new climate control system along with new lighting.

The fundraising drive was very active starting in the 1990s and at its peak the account contained nearly $900,000.  Those funds were to be used to finance the planned expansion of the library and museum.  The total cost of the expansion at the time was figured to be $2,250,000, according to Pember documents.

As of October 2013, 80 percent of the fund – or $722,000 – has been spent, leaving just $170,479 in the account.

The vast majority of the monies spend have gone to the architectural firm, Keefe and Wesner.  They have received in excess of $250,000 for their services.  Mark Wesner, a principal in the firm, is the husband of current Pember Library and Museum Director Pat Wesner.

The second largest chunk of money, about $134,428, was paid to A.J. Catalfimo Construction for restoration expense. This money was paid between April and December of 2004.

The third major portion of money was paid to Fred Rees, the individual originally hired by the Pember board, to conduct a feasibility study for the expansion.  He was paid $27,568 between August 2002 and August 2003.

There was almost $21,000 paid to the village of Granville over a span of six years to cover payroll taxes and employee benefits. Village Clerk Rick Roberts said some of this money was owed to the village for retirement funds and to reimburse fuel fill-ups.

Catamount Environmental also received $11,684 from the Capital Campaign fund for restoration work, according to library documents.

Additionally, Museum Director Pat Wesner, whose last name was Bailey at the time, received about $7,700 as incentive bonuses as part of her role as Capital Campaign Director.

Attempts to find out further details on the planned expansion and the Capital Campaign Fund from either Wesner, the library’s attorney or the Libby Post, whom the library hired for public relations purposes, were unsuccessful as of Tuesday afternoon.





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