Apr 25 2011

Emeryville’s Cheaper Cost for Library Services Remains Unexplained

Oakland Public LibraryAt an April 18th Council meeting, Piedmont’s City Administrator expressed skepticism about Oakland’s vague explanation that “free” use of Emeryville’s Senior Center was the basis for the low $10 per resident cost paid by Emeryville for Oakland library services – a rate which has not been offered to Piedmont.  

It has been confirmed that non-residents must pay an annual membership fee to attend classes at Emeryville’s Senior Center.  The  discrepancy in the library services rate offered to Emeryville ($10 per resident) and the rate grudgingly accepted from Piedmont ($33 per resident) cannot be explained by “free” use of the Emeryville Senior Center by Oakland residents. 

Oakland’s Pleasant Valley Adult Education Senior Program, located less than a block from the Emeryville border at 920 53rd Street, offers free fitness and health classes to both Emeryville and Oakland seniors.  In contrast, a short 5 minute walk away, Oakland seniors must pay an annual membership fee and per class fee for any class at the Emeryville Senior Center despite its partial funding by the Alameda County Transportation Commission and the Alameda County Area Agency on Aging.

The lack of parity between the graciously accepted contribution of $100,000 from Emeryville in recognition of library services for Emeryville residents conveniently located at the Golden Gate Branch Library immediately adjacent to the Emeryville border, and the “unacceptably low” contribution of $350,471 by Piedmont, a town of similar population, is not explained by the use of the Emeryville Senior Center by Oakland seniors.

Perhaps Oakland holds events in the hall and does not pay any rent?  When not scheduled for seniors’ events or other Emeryville uses, the hall in the pink Art Moderne building can be rented by any non-Emeryville resident for only $40.  Depending on the event, an insurance certificate may be required or, for large crowds, security guards may be required.  Serving alcohol requires an additional $40 fee from non-Emeryville residents.  To make up the $250,000 disparity between the Emeryville and Piedmont library services contributions to Oakland, Oakland would have to use the hall on 5,000 nights of every year.

Updated 6/8/13

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